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Inventory looks like the big issue for Virginia housing

Why is inventory becoming the big issue in Virginia real estate? Because there’s not enough of it. (If you’re in an area that does have plenty, be advised: It probably won’t last.)

Check out these statewide figures for February (the latest date we have solid numbers for):

Columnist warns about the return of sub-prime loans

In case you don’t remember, the housing crisis we’re finally getting out of was caused by, at its core, people getting mortgages they couldn’t afford. Blame the borrowers, blame the lenders, whatever — that was the root of it all.

That was the sub-prime market: loans to people who didn’t have great (aka “prime”) credit. And that’s why we have all these new rules and regs and requirements: to prevent people — many of whom didn’t know any better — from borrowing more than they can afford. (Or at least shielding taxpayers from lenders willing to take the extra risk on those people.)

Governor announces $1 million to provide housing for 19 homeless families

To help fight homelessness in Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell has announced three grants that will create 19 new housing units for homeless and disabled people.

The grants (which come from a “special funding allocation” of the governor’s 2013 budget) total an even $1 million. They’ll go to apartment complexes in Fairfax County, Gloucester County, and Newport News.

Study: Zoning contributed to housing crisis

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.

Look at all the good news about Virginia’s infrastructure

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".)

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