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28 January 2011

Week in Review: What We Liked From the Week That Was

For those of us buried in record-levels of snow, spring feels like light-years away.  Perhaps Punxsutawney Phil will declare a mild end to winter next Wednesday.  One thing is for sure though, with the Super Bowl a little over a week away, the unofficial start of spring home selling season is upon us.  Let’s hope the low mortgage rates and housing prices make for a hot season.

Of interest to many of us in real estate, a Gallop poll showed 67 percent of Americans feel now is a “good time” to buy a house.  Also this week, a Trulia study found buying a home is cheaper than renting in 72 percent of markets. The top ten cities where this is true all are in Florida, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and California.

In the spirit of “the glass is half full,” The Wall Street Journal reported this week that even though foreclosures nationwide rose last year, filings in the hardest hit areas like Las Vegas and California, actually slowed.  Of course, there is no cause for celebration yet, but it is a start in the right direction!

Apparently, Green Bay will look to win the Super Bowl in a “green” stadium.  Whereas a traditional venue would use the energy needed to power about 1,500 homes for one year, to host the Super Bowl, Cowboys Stadium, home of this year’s big game, has adopted a carbon offset program to make the most environmentally-friendly NFL championship game on record.  Leave it to Dallas to do everything big, including environmentalism.

Speaking of Dallas, the demand for private home rentals in Dallas/Fort Worth are heating up as fans look for a private place to celebrate next week. Would you pay $100,000 for a weekly rental?  To be fair, everything is going for a premium.  If you are located in an area poised to host big sporting events in the next few years, this could be a selling point!

Finally, in his State of the Union address, President Obama talked about the need to streamline bureaucracy for greater effectiveness.  Of note, he pointed out that there are at least five different agencies that “deal with housing policy.”  Do you think a more coordinated government approach to housing policy would be better or worse for our industry?

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