The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors just published data showing the lowest level of foreclosures and short sales in the Twin Cities since 2007. This is certainly good news for home sellers as the pricing pressure has been relieved. In some ways it’s good for buyers too although they will be paying higher prices. Why might it be good for buyers? While buyers might always be worried about losing money, with an improving marketing and lower inventory of short sales and foreclosures, that worry is not as big as it once was not that many years ago.
My family recently changed dentists due to our insurance changing. We’ve driven by Dr. Landa’s office for years as it is right near the Medina Target. I always thought it was a great spot because he was one of the first dentists who put his office in a retail setting. His practice is called Westland Dental.
I just want to say our entire family has been through his office for cleanings and fillings and I have to say it was a most pleasant experience. He has friendly staff. It’s a pleasant environment and Dr. Landa is terrific. He took his time with each of us answering questions and he seemed very knowledgeable. While I’m not a technologist working in the dental field, he did seem to have some very impressive technology that he was working with. I was particularly impressed with the new X-RAY system.
If you’re looking for a dentist in the Plymouth and Medina area, I highly recommend Dr. Landa.
Fox Business just ran a story on buyers and sellers working with Dual Agency. I’ve written about Dual Agency in Minnesota before and it is something that rarely gets discussed. If it does get discussed, it’s often brushed over. In Minnesota, we can work as dual agents meaning we represent both the buyer and the seller but both parties need so know that the role of the agent and the representation offered change.
There continues to be a dramatic decline in the number of short sales and foreclosures in the Twin Cities metro. For the most part listings, pending sales and closed sales are down anywhere from 25-45%. For the full detail, be sure to review the link at Short Sales and Foreclosures in the Twin Cities.
If you have not discovered this tool yet offered by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and powered by 10K Research, it’s a must if you want to stay on top of the statistics for your particular city. The reports are generated every month usually around the 10th or so of each month.
The Minneapolis Area Local Market Updates for over 200 communities. You’ll find:
- Median home sales prices
- Average home sales prices
- New listings
- Number of closed sales
- Days on market until sale
- Final sales price as a percentage of original list price
The National Association of Home Builders site, Housing Economics, has pulled together what must be the defacto standard when it comes to analyzing the issue concerning the mortgage interest deduction.
As Washington looks for ways to derive more revenue and bring down the deficit and area that has been discussed in the past couple of years has been the mortgage interest deduction – or MID. As you can imaging the National Association of REALTORs and the National Association of Home Builders have been very active in continuing to promote the value of the mortgage interest deduction.
Housing Economics published by the NAHB has produced a very comprehensive paper on the impact of the mortgage interest deduction. For those who want to go deep in to the weeds on this and see the technical details of the tax analysis, this will be a terrific article for you.
The analysis in this paper builds on earlier NAHB research examining the housing tax benefits including:
- The geography of housing tax deduction claims (2006)
- Discussion of housing tax item tax expenditure analysis (2008)
- Distributions of deduction amounts and policy issues (2008)
- Estimates of final tax benefits, inclusive of the itemization decision (2009)
- Age-distribution of housing deduction claims (2010)
- Income and family size distribution analysis of housing tax benefits (2011)
I think we can all expect that once we get through this fall’s election, that the conversation of whether or not to keep or reduce the mortgage interest deduction will be a topic of discussion in Washington in 2013.
The National Association of Home Builders is out with the latest results of their monthly survey of housing markets. The number of improving housing markets jumped significantly to 99 up from 80 during the previous month. More signs of an improving housing economy across many parts of the United States.
“More metros across the country are experiencing a sustained uptick in house prices, employment and new building activity as rising consumer confidence in local market conditions pushes more people to consider a new-home purchase,” observed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “That said, overly tight lending conditions for builders and buyers continue to slow this process considerably.”
The FTC has warned several replacement window manufacturers about their stated claims for energy savings. Anyone who has paid attention to some of the claims would likely question them if they thought about it just a bit.
Many claims state that by replacing windows, homeowners might see a savings of anywhere from 20-40% on their energy bills. My sense all along has been that those kinds of statements might be a little ambitious. Apparently the FTC has also decided that and has been taking steps to reign in some of the marketing by various window manufactures when it comes to replacement windows.
The U.S. House and Senate are considering extending the Mortgage Debt Relief Act beyond the expiration of December 31, 2012. The law was initially put in to effect in 2007 right near the beginning of the housing crash.
For anyone still working in the real estate market or those who are buying and selling, they know that there remain a lot of short sales. Without this law being extended those considering a short sale would be hit with a massive tax bill from the IRS because when they sell their home short, the amount of the debt that is forgiven in the short sale is considered income and taxed accordingly.
While the House and Senate might be struggling to pass a budget and deal with other tax issues before the year is out, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will be sure to press hard to get them to pass this extension before December 31, 2012.
Trulia is one of the big real estate search engines that has seen rapid growth in traffic over the past several years. They, along with Zillow and Realtor.com to some degree, are seen as third party aggregators in real estate search. I’m a fan of Trulia and believe they have been very innovative in pushing the technology as well as usability of real estate search across the country.
Today Trulia filed for an IPO to raise $75 million. The ticker will be TRLA. No news yet as to what the overall valuation of the company is when they raise $75 million. JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank are the lead underwriters. Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital are the private equity firms involved in originally funding the company.
According to the Associated Press story running on Yahoo! Finance:
Trulia, which operates both a traditional website and mobile apps, allows people to research home listings and neighborhoods, while helping real estate agents market their listings. In the six months ended June 30, the site had 22 million unique visitors. And as of the same date, it had more than 360,000 active real estate professionals, with 21,544 of those paying subscribers.
The company’s searchable database includes more than 110 million properties, including 4.5 million homes for sale and rent. Listings are supplemented with local information on schools, crime and neighborhood amenities.
It will be interesting to see the reception to Trulia’s IPO. Zillow, it’s biggest competitor, had a successful IPO a year ago and Zillow now has a valuation of over $1 billion.