July 2004 Fast Takes
July 2004 Fast Takes
Voters want housing on candidates’ agendas
Two out of three Americans are concerned about the cost of housing in their communities, and some 70 percent favor government placing a higher priority on making rental and for-sale housing more affordable, an NAR survey finds. Among voters, affordable housing ranks third in priority, behind affordable health care and job security and above terrorism, pollution, and crime.
Where the bargains are.
Even in the 10 biggest U.S. metro areas, where the country has been posting some of its steepest home price gains, buyers can find places—Holden, Mass., in the Boston area, East Meadow, N.Y., in the New York City area, and Medford, N.J., in the Philadelphia area—with great purchase values, says Woonsocket, R.I.-based Location Inc. The company analyzes U.S. city data to identify areas that boast strong schools and owner-occupancy, for instance, and yet enjoy relatively low median home prices. To try your own search (a subscription costs $30 for 30 days), visit www.NeighborhoodScout.com.
Ten years out, home sales look better than ever.
Expect total annual sales of new and existing homes to rise from an average 6.67 million units in 1994–2003 to as much as 8.85 million units in 2004–2013, says the Homeownership Alliance, an organization of more than 15 real estate and finance groups, including NAR. The reasons: favorable trends in demographics, such as strong household formation, and in mortgage finance, such as innovations that lower ownership costs. The scenario is valid even if interest rates rise because demographics and financing innovation are the main drivers of home sales.
New commercial real estate chief.
James M. Marrelli has been named NAR vice president of commercial real estate and the head of the REALTORS® Commercial Alliance, which provides the framework for all of the commercial real estate groups and services within NAR. Marrelli, a former owner of a real estate and construction company in Houston, was previously vice president of Homestore.com, where he developed commercial and specialty real estate products, and vice president of First American Information Services, where he developed real estate information services.
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