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2013 looks to be a prosperous new year for real estate

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Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2013 12:00 am

Peering into the future isn’t difficult. Predicting what’s actually going to happen is the problem. As we look ahead let’s peer through the lens of our leading economists, political leaders, and historical data to see what’s on the horizon for 2013.

With record low interest rates the California Association of Realtors is projecting a 1.3 percent increase in single family home re-sales and a 5.7 percent increase in the median price home for 2013. This is great news for our area! An area that has been hard hit and previously labeled as ground zero for the foreclosure market. It’s refreshing to know the light is at the end of the tunnel ... recovery is within our reach.

While Stockton has the highest U.S. foreclosure rate, it also has a housing shortage. The number of homes for sale in San Joaquin County fell 32 percent from Nov 2012 vs Nov 2011. Homes are selling like hot cakes! Most listings have multiple offers causing prices to continue to escalate.

Another positive note for investors is the temporary waiver of the FederalHousing Agency’s (FHA) “anti-flipping rule” for another two years. Theruling allows investors who acquire foreclosed properties to be exempted from waiting the customary 90 days before reselling them.

Late Tuesday night, Congress reached a settlement in the “fiscal cliff”negotiations. As a result, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act has been extended for another year. The measure will continue to exempt from taxation mortgage debt that is forgiven when homeowners and their mortgage lenders negotiate a short sale, loan modification (including any principalreduction) or foreclosure. Home owners are encouraged to consult with their own tax advisers about their tax situation.

With all this good news of course there are concerns. Few issues are more important to homeownership than the mortgage interest deduction (MID).While the housing market continues to recover, any change that reduces theability of the market to heal is misguided and must be rejected. Congresshas made direct references to “limiting deductions” as a way to raise revenues, and clearly, the MID is high on this list to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” The decision could be reached at any time, so it is vital that you respond to our nationwide call for action TODAY and urge your member of Congress to preserve the MID. You can call Congress at (202) 224-3121, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., EST. “We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history”.

As we anticipate a prosperous year filled with great expectations it’s my honor to serve as the president of our local association of Realtors. My goal is to help keep our communities, clients, and fellow Realtors informed and up to date on our current market. My hope is to serve you well in the role that the Lodi Association of Realtors has provided for the past 92 years.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Sheri Aguilar is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors and can be reached at