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NAR weighs in on future of GSEs

President Obama is arranging a Conference on the Future of Housing Finance in August 2010, but NAR isn't waiting to represent the Realtor position to federal officials. In comments submitted to the US Treasury Department and HUD, NAR went on record to state that reforms to the secondary mortgage market, widely anticipated to be created by Congress in late 2010 or early 2011, should meet two requirements:

Press reacts to VAR's 2Q Home Sales Report

Press reactions to our second quarter home sales report are rolling in. We'll keep track of them here:

Press conference recording for 2Q home sales report released

An audio recording of today's press conference (right-click to download 7 MB mp3 file) with commentary from some of the state's leading brokers about VAR's second quarter home sales report is now available for download. The brokers in the call are:

Officials looking at wind farms for Virginia

Virginia officials are working to lay the groundwork for the state to become a national hub for wind technology. If they are successful, it could mean an estimated $80 billion to the Commonwealth and more than 5,000 long-term jobs.

"We have the potential for not only wind turbines off the coast of Virginia, but for Hampton Roads to become the silicon valley of wind development for the entire east coast," said Bob Matthias, assistant to the Virginia Beach city manager.

Learn more at WAVY-TV 10....

CNBC says Virginia's the second best state for business

CNBC released its ranking of best states for business, placing Virginia second. The Commonwealth topped the list 2009 and 2007, the first year of the network's ranking.

Virginia's still first on Forbes magazine's list of best states for business -- and has been for the past four years.

Virginia's favorable business environment is paying dividends in this economy, to the benefit of its residents, as evidenced by Virginia's low unemployment rate relative to the rest of the nation. The real estate market is expected to rebound as the economy improves.

Read more in The Washington Post....

In 2011 online CE must be ARELLO approved

For the vast majority of Realtors®, satisfying the Virginia Real Estate Board's (VREB) continuing education (CE) requirements is something you do to improve yourself and your professionalism. To stay current on what's happening in the industry, you seek out high-quality education like (shameless plug) the REal Show, courses from your local association, or from other approved real estate schools.

Housing policy advisory committee wants your input

Gov. McDonnell has embarked on a mission to create the Commonwealth's first statewide housing policy. The policy is expected to guide the Commonwealth's approach to issues such as homelessness, affordable housing, workforce housing, economic development, healthy neighborhoods, effective coordination with transportation, environmental issues and other housing related opportunities.

Time is running out to provide comments or ideas to Gov. McDonnell's Housing Policy Advisory Committee. On July 9, the suggestion box will be closed. If you'd like to provide input to the Advisory Committee, act now.

Commonwealth magazine arrives this week

Watch your mailbox this week for the latest issue of Commonwealth Magazine.  Here's what to expect:

New Residential Disclosure Form now available

In accordance with new laws passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2010, the Virginia Real Estate Board (VREB) has updated the Residential Property Disclosure Statement to reflect a statutory notice requirement concerning wastewater systems. Please use the new form beginning July 1, 2010.

NAR reports pending home sales surge in April

Driven to take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit before it expired on April 30, buyers sent the pending home sales index soaring in April, according to NAR.

Touting the results of the homebuyer tax credit, NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun said:

“The home buyer tax credit brought close to 1 million additional buyers into the market, which is now helping the trade-up market and has significantly improved the inventory situation. This stabilized home prices more quickly and has preserved about $900 billion in home equity; in turn, that is keeping additional households from going underwater and risking foreclosure.”

Watch this video for more context: