By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Perhaps the highest compliment that can be paid to the Washington area in 2012 is that it was "balanced." The market was no longer cold, nor was it irrationally hot.
Distressed properties have been one of the biggest problems in the real estate market since 2006. They put a drag on the process of buying and selling, they pull down property values, and they even can affect the image of a neighborhood.
Unlike many parts of the country, the Washington area has had a pretty good year for its housing market. Sales are up 16 percent, and the inventory of unsold homes is down 15 percent. That means buyers are competing more these days, and that's helping home values.
Despite record-low interest rates and an abundance of homes from which to choose, Washington-area homebuyers were rather shy in the latter half of 2010. Even when you include the busy spring market, 2010's home-sales total was 7 percent lower than 2009's.
"Next year is going to start out fast," Mr. Rathgeber said. "I can already feel it picking up, which is unusual for the end of December."
"We've seen more appraisal problems than in any year I can remember," Mr. Rathgeber said. "A third of my transactions this year have had some kind of issue with an appraisal."