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4 June 2010

Week in Review: Things We Liked from the Week That Was

The government has played a large role in housing recovery. This week, the real-estate lobby asked Congress to extend the amount of time that potential home buyers have to complete transactions that qualify for tax credit (but, just in case this does not go through, look at these tips for hurrying the process along). Also, in a new kind of potential bailout, three House Democrats introduced legislation this week that would guarantee $15 billion in construction loans. What role do you think the government should play? Are there any other programs you would like to see happening now? One thing is for certain, the government must be doing something right: pending home sales were 22.4 percent higher in April than the same month last year.

But, as we have learned by now, it’s never all good news these days. Even Warren Buffett underestimated the severity of the housing bubble. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported applications tied to home purchases are at the lowest level since April 1997. Other estimates out show real estate owned, or foreclosure, properties are on the rise, proving at least banks still have a long way to go. The two groups expected to be hurt the most long-term by the bubble burst are young first-time buyers and the so-called active-adult purchasers who downsize. How can we keep these two groups optimistic?

Dealing with any consumers trying to decide whether to rent or buy? This map may be helpful. Speaking of rentals, as the long-awaited summer vacation is upon us, Realogy launched HomeAwayRealEstate.com, a searchable database of vacation-home listings available to rent. This may even be useful for your family!

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