Back in April, Governor McDonnell issued Executive Order 10 — the first coordinated effort to address Virginia's housing needs.
So he formed the Housing Policy Work Group (which included Richmond Association of Realtors® CEO Laura Lafayette) and launched the Housing Policy Framework Initiative. Their goal: Clarify the issues involved with housing in the Commonwealth, determine how things can be made better, and make recommendations to the governor.
On November 18, the task force released its interim report at the Governor’s Housing Conference. It identified four priorities for the Commonwealth when it comes to housing:
The Realtor profession stands ready to respond swiftly and decisively to oppose any specific proposal in Congress to reduce or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction. After all, there's a lot at risk. However, at this point in time, there is no specific proposal in Congress to curb the popular tax break.
This is how rumors are started. Yesterday several major media outlets (WaPo, NYT) ran stories about a sneak peek of a draft report from the Deficit Reduction Commission (DRC), a bipartisan commission charged with recommending steps to reduce the federal debt. The draft report contains a recommendation that the popular Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) tax break be reduced or repealed in order to bring the government's expenses in line with its revenues.
Certain localities within the boundaries of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) have levied a special tax on certain property owners to finance needed and costly transportation improvements in Northern Virginia, like Metro to Dulles. Here's the rub: the special tax applies only to commercial property owners, and not residential property owners.
How affordable is housing in Virginia? How many middle-class families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads? Can a firefighter really afford to live in Fairfax?
A new tool from Housing Virginia answers those questions — and a lot more. It’s the first comprehensive, statewide database that looks at housing affordability.
Could the end of the Bush-era capital gains tax cut mean a jump in commercial sales? Could be, at least according to an article in Bloomberg.
With Congress deadlocked over extending the tax cuts, chances are looking good that rates will return to pre-Bush rates -- most notably the capital gains tax, which will go back to 20% from its current 15%. That potential jump, Bloomberg contends, is convincing some commercial-property owners to try to sell now, rather than pay higher taxes later.
Unemployment in the United States rose slightly in October -- up to 11.55%, compared with 11.46% in September. But it was down from October 2009's 11.88%.* In general, though, the unemployment picture has been brightening, albeit slowly. And as more people find work and incomes rise, the real estate market will also pick up.
Virginia has unemployment significantly lower than the national average; only eight states have lower rates than ours, which is typically about 2.5% below the country's. (The Virginia Employment Commission doesn't break out the numbers the way the Federal BLS does, so there's no way to get the detailed figures.)
Virginia requires people refinancing a home to pay a recordation tax, just as if they were buying it. There's an exemption, though: If the new lender is the same as the old lender, you don't have to pay.
Problem: No one knows who the "old" lender is anymore, what with mortgages being sold and resold and reresold, not to mention broken apart and "securitized," and that whole paperwork mess. So technically, most people aren't eligible for the tax break.
Total home sales in Virginia have slowed, with third quarter numbers showing a disappointing 22 percent decline over the same period last year, according to the Trends in Virginia's Housing Markets report published by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Statewide, sales are behind 2009 figures by six percent for the first nine months of the year.