Monday, March 12, 2012

Apartment, Condo Market Heats Up

For the sixth consecutive quarter, the apartment and condo housing market continued to show signs of improvement.

The Multifamily Production Index, released by the National Association of Home Builders, measures builder and developer sentiment about current market conditions in the sector. The index reached 48.9 in the fourth quarter — out of a scale up to 100 — and reached its highest reading since the fourth quarter of 2005.

"The apartment and condo sector continues to be a bright spot in the housing market, with the overall index at its highest level in six years," says David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist. "The rental components have been the driving force behind the increased index level. And although the for-sale component remains weaker, it is still double what it was just six quarters ago."

Still, the improvements are met with caution. Builders warn about the ongoing difficulty developers have faced in obtaining credit to finance development of new apartments as a major roadblock.

What Do Americans Want Most Once Finances Improve?

Fifty-one percent of Americans in a recent poll say that if their financial situation were to improve, they’d buy a home. Coming in second on the list of wishes, they’d make repairs or improvements to the home they already have, according to the poll of more than 1,400 Americans conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling Web site,

Meanwhile, 17 percent of Americans polled said they’d upgrade their car and 9 percent said they’d take a vacation.

"Home ownership has traditionally been a part of sound financial planning," says Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC, a nonprofit credit counseling organization. "With a combined total of 74 percent of respondents selecting a home-oriented option, the poll results strongly suggests that people continue to place value in owning a home, and are anxious to buy a house or improve their existing one."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Home Ownership Matters

Home ownership has a significant impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health, and overall quality of life. And, home ownership helps create jobs—lots of them—right here at home.

Home Ownership matters…to people, to communities, and to America. Why?

For every two homes sold, one job is created in the U.S.
Each purchase generates as much as $60,000 in economic activity over time.
The home ownership debate

Some who care about creating jobs also argue that home ownership may be overrated, and that we might be better off as a nation of renters.

If that’s of concern to you, follow the debate about federal government incentives to home ownership—the outcome of which will determine whether the average American can still get an affordable mortgage and whether home owners can continue to deduct their mortgage interest as a benefit of home ownership.

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Read about the issues affecting you as a home owner right now:
Home ownership

It Pays to Support Responsible Home Ownership
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Home Ownership Matters Bus Tour Hits the Road
The Home Ownership Matters bus tour, sponsored by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is revving up to celebrate the benefits of home ownership with you.

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How Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Save You Money
Home owners who use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages save thousands of dollars in interest payments each year.

Show Your Support for FHA
FHA supports home values by providing a steady source of mortgage financing for families across the country, but critics worry it has taken on too much risk.

Mortgage deduction

Your Mortgage Deduction: Turn Tax Savings into Home Value
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7 Mortgage Interest Deduction Myths
Think losing the mortgage interest deduction would be no big deal? We bust seven myths to show why the cost is bigger than you think.

Mortgage Interest Deduction Vital to Housing Market
The mortgage deduction saves the average home owner thousands of dollars at tax time, supports home values at the community level, and helps American home buyers get into their first house.

Deduct Mortgage Interest and Home Equity Loans
Deducting mortgage interest, as well as interest on home equity loans and HELOCs, can save you money on taxes.

MID app
Estimate your tax savings based on the mortgage interest deduction.