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2012 Home Sales: Best in 5 Years

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

 

I thought this article would be good information for everyone to have. If you have any questions about the local central Oregon real estate market, be sure to let me know. I'm here to help!

By Chris Isidore @CNNMoneyJanuary 22, 2013: 10:39 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Steady December home sales capped the best year for the U.S. real estate market in five years, according to an industry trade group report Tuesday.

The National Association of Realtors said that December sales of previously-owned homes came in just slightly below November's sales pace, but up 12.8% from a year ago. That brought full-year sales to 4.65 million, up 9% from 2011 and the best year for home sales since 2007, when there were 5 million homes sold just before the start of the recession.

Sales are being helped by a combination of strong market fundamentals -- near record low mortgage rates, lower unemployment and a rebound in home prices, all of which are bringing in buyers into the market who had been waiting for it to hit bottom. The mortgage rates and years of depressed home prices have also combined to create the most affordable housing market on record, according to the Realtors group.

And the Realtors are predicting strong sales should continue into 2013 and beyond. It has a forecast for 5.1 million existing home sales this year, and 5.4 million next year.

Related: Big luxury home sales, big tax savings

The improved demand for homes in December led to the inventory of homes for sale to fall to 1.82 million homes on the market, the lowest supply since January 2001. One factor in tightening supplies is a drop in foreclosures and other distressed home sales, which made up only 24% of home sales in December compared to 32% a year ago. The tighter supply, and the drop in distressed sales, have helped to lift home prices so that the median sales price for the year rose to $176,600, up 6.3% from 2011. That's the biggest gain in prices in since the bubble year of 2005.

The rebound in the market for previously-owned homes is also showing up in the market for new homes, where sales rebounded to their highest levels since 2009, while housing starts reached the highest level since 2008. To top of page    First Published: January 22, 2013: 10:27 AM

Central Oregon Recreation News

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Bend tops for fish & golf
Links magazine, Fall 2012: As a location that combines high-quality fly fishing and golfing venues, "nothing tops Bend, Oregon," wrote Chris Santella. He laid out a four-day itinerary with golfing at Crosswater, Pronghorn and Aspen Lakes and fishing in the Fall, Crooked, Metolius and Lower Deschutes rivers. "For those who pursue trout and salmon as passionately as birdies and eagles, there's no place like Bend," the headline writer posited. (Links named Bend No. 1 for combined ski and golf outings early last year.)

C.O. golf courses 'among best'
Golfnow.com: Central Oregon lurks as one of America's best golf destinations, the web site declares. "You've heard of hidden gems when it comes to golf courses, but how about a hidden destination? That argument could be made for Central Oregon, ranked among the top 50 golf destinations in the world by Golf Digest but still somewhat anonymous nationally. It not only boasts some of the best golf courses in the country but also some of the best golf weather anywhere," according to senior staff writer Mike Bailey. "The quality of golf as well as the settings around Oregon communities like Bend, Redmond and Sisters are stunning," he continued. Bailey profiled courses at Black Butte Ranch, Pronghorn, Eagle Crest Resort, Aspen Lakes Golf Course, Sunriver Resort and Tetherow Golf Club. Golfnow.com is part of the WorldGolf.com network of on-line golf sites affiliated with cable TV's Golf Channel.

Sisters hub for outdoor fun
Outdoors NW, September/October 2012: Exploring the Sisters area "by bike, boat and boot," writer Amy Whitley described kayaking and hiking at Suttle Lake, mountain biking on the Peterson Ridge Trail System and visiting Camp Polk Meadow, plus dining and lodging pleasures. Sisters offers "Central Oregon's trademark high desert terrain merged with just the right amount of dense pine forest," she observed.

Sunriver Resort scores high
Condé Nast Traveler, 2012 Readers' Choice Awards: Sunriver Resort scored 82.9 points to place 8th on a list of Top 10 Resorts in the Pacific Northwest. Scoring was based on rooms, service, food, location, design and activities. Alderbrook Resort & Spa on Washington's Hood Canal was first with 94.9 points.

If you would like information about real estate in central Oregon so you can live and play all in the same area, please give me a call at 541-480-7441. I serve the towns of Bend, Redmond, Sisters, and Prineville along with all of the destination resorts in this area. Let me put my 28 years of experience to work for you! Homes, Farms and Ranches, Townhomes, and Condos. What ever you need, I can help.

Mortgage Debt Relief Act Extended!

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

MORTGAGE FORGIVENESS DEBT RELIEF ACT DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR ONE YEAR.

January 2, 2012

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (the MFD Act) has been extended for one year, until midnight on December 31, 2013, as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the act intended to stop us short of going over the so-called fiscal cliff). This is great news for distressed homeowners, preserving their option to go through a short sale without having to pay tax on phantom income (known as 1099 Discharge of Indebtedness Income), when they short sale their primary residence and obtain a waiver of any deficiency claim from the lender (the difference between the amount paid to the lender and the amount owed on the loan). The MFD Act also applies to any other disposition of the primary residence which involves the homeowner not having to be liable for the deficiency claim, such as a foreclosure.

An example tells it all: without the MFD Act, if the lender wrote off $100,000 of the secured debt to permit the short sale to occur, the homeowner would be taxed as if the homeowner had just made an additional $100,000 of income. With the MFD Act in place, the qualifying homeowner would be able to exclude from taxable income the entirety of that $100,000.

The MFD Act was set to expire at midnight on December 31, 2012 (meaning that it would only apply to any closings which occurred before January 1, 2013). Now the MFD Act will cover any closings which occur before January 1, 2014.

Detailed discussion of the MFD Act is beyond the scope of this Alert. While other exclusions from the 1099 income could apply, such as the insolvency exclusion, for the majority of homeowners dealing with underwater loans on their primary residence, the MFD Act was the preferred solution to avoid taxation of that 1099 income, and a failure of Congress to have extended the MFD Act would have been a financial blow to many such homeowners.

DISCLAIMER: This column does not constitute the giving of legal advice, and your reading this column does not create an attorney/client relationship. You are encouraged to consult a lawyer or accountant should you have questions about how this information may be applicable to your particular situation.

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