Friday Facts 7/26/13

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.
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