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Vacation Home Sales Surge in 2013

Vacation home sales rose strongly in 2013, according to the National Association of REALTORS. Vacation home sales jumped 29.7% to an estimated 717,000 last year, compared to just 553,000 in 2012. Vacation home sales accounted for 13% of all transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006.

The median vacation home price was $168,700, up 12.5% over 2012. All cash purchases remained fairly common, with 38% of vacation home buyers paying cash. Of buyers who financed their purchase with a mortgage, vacation home buyers typically put down 30%. Forty-two percent of vacation homes bought last year were distressed homes.

The typical vacation home buyer purchased a property that was a median distance of 180 miles from his or her primary residence. Eighty-seven percent of vacation home buyers want to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat; 31% plan to use it as a primary residence in the future.

 
The Roanoke Regions' "Best Of"

Thank you to the Roanoke Regional Partnership for bringing more and more attention to the Roanoke region. Here are the highlights of recent "Best Of" accolades:

          Blue Ridge Outdoors: #1 Trail Town

          Lumosity: Brainiest Cities

          NerdWallet.com: Salem - Best Cities for Young Families

          Gallup: Top 25% for Exercise and Low Obesity

          USA Today: 10 Beautiful Places to Run

          U.S. News: Best Regional Hospitals

          Forbes: Best Places for Career and Business

          Milken: Best Performing Cities

 
Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act Passed by Congress
On March 13, 2014, the United States Senate approved the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, as previously approved and amended by the House. President Obama signed the bill into law shortly thereafter.
 
The new bill repeals the authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premiums to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones. Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance.
 
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