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VAR, RAR quoted by Richmond Times-Dispatch

Both VAR and the Richmond Association of REALTORS® were featured in an October 23 Richmond Times-Dispatch story, “Housing market improves,” about central Virginia’s housing market.

“The Richmond area’s housing market posted increases in sales and prices during the third quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by the Richmond Association of Realtors,” begins the story, which featured housing statistics from both associations.

It quoted both Linda Terry, the 2013 President of the Richmond Association of REALTORS®, and Stacey Ricks, VAR’s Director of Public Relations.

Virginia sees a strong third quarter

The Virginia housing market maintained year-over-year improvements in the third quarter: sales were up 11%, prices increased 2.4%, and volume increased 19%. In general, year-over-year numbers indicate that the market is continuing to recover with increased sales, increased value, and stable prices.

Nonetheless, sales decreased in September. The graph below shows that the decrease in sales from August 2013 through September 2013 (20.4%) was similar to the decline Virginia experienced last year, 20.08% from the end of August 2012 to the end of September 2012.

BBB warns of scam targeting real estate agents and brokerages

watchyourstepThe August/September issue of Commonwealth featured a story, “Watch Your Step,” that outlined some of the real estate scams being perpetrated on Realtors and their clients. The Better Business Bureau is now warning about yet another.

Three Virginia cities ranked as “best places to live”

Charlottesville, Richmond, and Newport News were named among the nation’s “Top 100 Places to Live” in 2014, according to Livability.

Working with researchers at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, USDA, Walk Score, Great Schools, Americans for the Arts, and others, Livability examined more than 1,700 small and mid-sized cities across the country.

The rankings were based on a variety of factors, including local economics, quality and availability of healthcare, affordability, quality of education and infrastructure, and local amenities such as parks, museums, and music venues.

MRIS and other MLSs to add new-home listings

A number of multiple listing services across the country — including MRIS, which serves a large portion of Virginia — will be adding new construction and new-home communities to the listings accessible by members.

Builders Digital Experience — a joint venture between Realtor.com operator Move and homebuilder consortium Builder Homesite — says that 16 MLSs will feature new-home communities as well as floorplans in a “new home channel.” BDX already powers Realtor.com’s “New Homes & Communities” section.

The new information will be a customized version of what’s available on BDX’s NewHomeSourceProfessional.com, which bills itself as having “the largest collection of new homes” searchable by real estate agents.

Study: Virginia most affected by government shutdown

A study by personal finance site Wallet Hub found that Virginia is the state most affected by the government shutdown.

Using data from Realtor.org as well as the Department of Education, the Brookings Institute, FedsDataCenter.com, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Small Business Administration, Wallet Hub examined a number of factors that would make a state more or less impacted by the shutdown.

Key races: Jackson Miller, David Yancey

This Election Day, there are a number of key races for the Virginia House of Delegates that VAR is following closely — these are contests that could have a profound effect on real estate in Virginia.

Here’s a summary of two of them; we’ll be covering more as Election Day approaches.

House District 50 (Prince William/Manassas): Vote Jackson Miller

Some mortgage brokers are offering closing-cost help

An article in the Washington Post explains how consumers shopping for mortgages may be offered “substantial credits” from mortgage brokers. Lenders, the article explains, may be able to offer similar help with closing costs, but do not always advertise the fact.

This is because the mortgage brokerages, unlike lenders, are required by law to pass certain monies back to their clients, according to the Post. They are trying to use this fact as a tool to attract customers, it says.

As the article explains:

The government shutdown and real estate

As you might expect, there are plenty of stories about how the government shutdown is affecting folks across the country. Let’s focus on the real estate market, though. Here are some of the stories making the rounds:

Mortgage Bankers Call for End to Government Shutdown (DSNews)
David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, urged an end to the shutdown:

Bradley J. Boland installed as VAR 2014 President

Bradley BolandCongratulations to Reston REALTOR® and managing broker of Keller Williams Realty Dulles Bradley J. Boland, who was installed last night as the 2014 President of the Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Brad’s wife, Elaine, and four of his five daughters joined hundreds of Virginia REALTORS® in celebrating this exciting achievement.