Last November, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce launched Blueprint Virginia, a year long initiative to develop a strategic plan that will improve Virginia’s competitive position in the global economy and ensure a prosperous and sustainable future. Virginia Chamber President and CEO Barry DuVal has been traveling across the Commonwealth in recent months to gain valuable stakeholder input on regional economic priorities.
Add to the never-ending List of Things That Caused the Housing Market Collapse: zoning. Specifically, zoning for too many large, expensive, single-family homes.
That kind of policy, according to a paper in the journal Housing Policy Debate, left people who wanted to live in an area with a choice of either living elsewhere or being lured by the promise of low/no payments and the idea that they could refinance when their ARMs reset.
Naturally, they chose the latter, and the data show the result: Communities zoned for those larger homes were much more likely to see foreclosures. (And that, of course, drove down property values, making it harder for people there to refinance..)
Let’s play the glass-half-full game, and see all the positives in what the American Society of Civil Engineers’ “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure” had to say about Virginia!
First off, we didn’t fail overall. We got a D+!
Fewer than 10 percent of our bridges (9.1%) are considered “structurally deficient” — only about 1,250 are in danger of collapse! (And only 17.6% are “functionally obsolete".)
Bravo for history! Our bridges are among the oldest in the nation — more than half are at the end of their designed life!
A new CoreLogic report says that “shadow inventory” (homes in the foreclosure process that will presumably enter the market soon) is down — in January it was 18 percent lower than a year ago. And it’s continuing to drop.
For a while, there was much being made about shadow inventory and how it was going to flood the market, lower prices, and stall the recovery. (We argued against that a-plenty, but there were still a good number of pundits who spread the fear.)
Looking for effective ways to market EarthCraft-certified buildings? The EarthCraft program provides a training class that teaches the principles of green building. In addition, you’ll learn the specifics of the EarthCraft program in order to successfully present and market sustainably built, green homes.
The three-a-half-hour EarthCraft Real Estate Professional class teaches participants the fundamentals of the EarthCraft program, providing expert guidance on strategies for presenting and marketing sustainably built homes to sales prospects.
The class will discuss:
We asked and you responded – Realtors from across the state put pressure on their representatives in the Virginia General Assembly, which – after much debate, arguing, and compromise – passed a bipartisan transportation bill that Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to sign.
Mortgage bankers aren’t exactly the most regulation-friendly group around, so when the CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (that’d be David Stevens) has good things to say about a government agency that’s creating new regs, it’s worth noting.
In this case, Stevens told the MBA’s membership that, while he thinks many regulators are hindering progress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is one doing policy right.
Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act - “Learn About the Changes”
Get up to speed on the recent changes to the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Designed for both real estate brokers and sales persons, this course offers:
-Detailed review of lease applications
-A “how to” guide for broker agent compliance
-The awareness and information you need to protect your business
The Washington, D.C., area was once again named the #1 area for traffic in the country — that’s #1 worst area, according to the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2012 Urban Mobility Report.
How does it slow thee? Let us count the ways:
D.C. is number one in…
- Delay Per Auto Commuter (67 hours/yr)
- Increase in average annual delay 1982 – 2012 (49 hours)
- Congestion Cost per Auto Commuter ($1,398/yr)
- Excess Fuel Wasted per Auto Commuter (32 gallons/yr)
- Least reliable travel freeway times
- Pounds of CO2 Per Auto Commuter (631)
But don’t despair. We’re ranked second in “Delay per non-peak traveler,” third for “Commuter Stress Index, and a distant fourth for “Total Travel Delay” and “Total Congestion Cost.”