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Record Number of Cash Purchases

A record number of home owners are using the increased equity in their current homes to buy their next homes in cash and avoid the mortgage process altogether, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

About 29 percent of non-investment buyers used cash to fund their housing transactions in the first quarter of this year -- the highest level on record. 

Baby boomers make up a large bulk of these all-cash deals, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS. Baby boomers have more equity than previous generations because they may have owned a home during a 30-year "housing bull market".

What's more, about 16.3 million Americans older than 60 owned their homes outright in 2012.  Baby boomers are expected to remain a strong presence in the housing market much longer than previous generations, too.

Roanoke Region Shows Strong Growth Indicators

Two new reports show that the Roanoke Region's economy continues its strong growth despite the still sluggish economy.

In a study conducted by Area Development, Roanoke fared well against other metros in the U.S. The Roanoke Region landed in the top 27 percent of the field, ranking 104 out of the 379 metro areas. Roanoke also ranked in the top third for economic strength indicators and for being a "recession-busting" city.

Commenting on the study, the Roanoke Regional Partnership predicts "the low cost of living, dynamic communities and high quality of life in the Roanoke Region will continue to put Roanoke at the top of metro areas for attracting business in 2014 and beyond."

In addition, the latest unemployment report saw the Roanoke metro area improve in April. Unemployment for April, 2014 was 4.8%, the lowest reading since December, 2008.

Bedford County Launches New GIS Website

Bedford County recently launched a new and improved public Geographic Information System (GIS). The GIS site is an interactive map which allows residents and professionals to view many layers of information, including tax, assessment, zoning, utilities, school, political, topography and public safety. The new site provides more searches and information, plus works with all Web browsers.

This new GIS site incorporates information from both Bedford County and the Town of Bedford, and replaces each of these localities' earlier GIS sites. The County plans to update the GIS site much more frequently than the quarterly data updates available with the older site.

Click here to check out the new GIS website.

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