Massachusetts Communities Among Safest Live in the US; First Time Homebuyers Drop
From the National Association of Realtors in Realtor Magazine:
- Ranking 5th in the 10 safest places to live in the U.S. is Cambridge – Newton – Framingham, MA. Criteria included economic stability, crime stats, extreme weather, air quality, housing depreciation, etc.
- First time homebuyers were 28% of existing home purchasers in May, down from 34% a year ago. Some reasons given for the drop were: rising prices, competition from investors, high unemployment and high student loan debt in the 25-34 year old age group.
- The home ownership rate for the white population is 76%, 47% for Hispanics, 45% for blacks. The market collapse hit minority households hard with Hispanic households losing nearly half their home equity between 2007 and 2010, black households 28% and white households 24%.
- Amy Crew Cutts, chief economist for Equifax, says that single family housing starts are still 60% below the pre-recession peak and existing home sales are about 38% off the peak.
- The gay marriage Supreme Court ruling may influence how couples in Massachusetts decide to hold title on a property. It will affect the calculation of real estate taxes owed when a spouse dies and how much capital gain is exempt from taxes in the sale of a home owed in the name of only one member of the couple.