Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some Cities Unaffected by Recession

Some U.S. cities with stable housing and diversified employment have been virtually untouched by the Great Recession.

Analysts say cities that are most likely to leave the recession in the same or better condition than they started it are those where home prices didn’t fluctuate wildly, which spared them the devastating effects of foreclosure, lost jobs, and lost productivity.

If there is a lesson to be learned, experts say, it is that families looking for long-term economic stability should settle in locales with diverse employment and minimal shifts in housing values.

To identify these cities, Forbes magazine ranked the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas by employment rates, the conventional mortgage home price index, and the average days on the market for properties currently for sale.

The top cities on Forbes list were:

Omaha/Council Bluffs, Neb.
San Antonio, Texas
Austin-Round Rock, Texas
Harrisburg/Carlisle, Pa.
Dallas/Fort Worth
Rochester, N.Y.
Raleigh/Cary, N.C.
Baton Rouge, La.

Source: Forbes, Francesca Levy (11/19/2009)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Texans vote for amendments that benefit homeowners

Texas voters approved three constitutional amendments that will help reform the property appraisal process, making the system fairer for property owners. Voters also passed a proposition that will strengthen protections against a government entity unfairly taking private land or homesteads through eminent domain.

Proposition 2 will ensure that property-tax appraisals value a residence homestead as a home, not at its "highest and best use."

Proposition 3 creates uniform standards across the state for appraisal methods.

Proposition 5 enables appraisal districts in two adjoining counties to combine resources for a single review board.

Proposition 11 strengthens eminent domain protections, barring government entities from taking private property for private development or for purely economic reasons.

Texas REALTORS supported these amendments because of the benefits they provide to homeowners.

Courtesy of: Texas Association of REALTORS