Wednesday, October 8, 2008
PENDING HOME SALES
Pending home sales surged 7.4 percent, according to NAR's latest Pending Home Sales Index, and the number is 8.8 percent higher year-over-year. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says homebuyers were responding to improved affordability, especially in states such as Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona and Rhode Island.
CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE
The state's insurer of last resort still has almost 2,000 unresolved homeowner-damage claims from the 2004 and 2005 storm seasons, and several Volusia County beachfront condominiums are now taking Citizens to court. According to public adjusters, attorneys and former Citizens employees, the insurer often delays paying claims and lowballs storm damage.
Several popular tax breaks were renewed or extended under the just-passed federal bailout package, including a three-year extension for the home seller protection law that forbids the IRS from taxing a mortgage debt forgiven by a lender as part of a short sale.
The financial squeeze on Americans got tighter over the last decade as housing expenses - everything from mortgage payments and rent, to utilities and insurance - far outpaced the growth in incomes, according to a new study by the Center for Housing Policy.
During yesterday's presidential debate, Republican candidate John McCain proposed a $300 billion federal program to buy up bad home mortgages and allow homeowners to keep their house.
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