July 2013 Quick Takes

Illinois REALTOR® Magazine | July 2013

States and the Mortgage

Interest Deduction

Illinois is among 23 states where taxpayers claim the mortgage interest deduction at a higher rate than the national average of 25.5 percent. In a recent report, “The Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction,” The Pew Charitable Trusts took a closer look at how use of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) varies from state to state. Illinois also makes the list of states with the most mortgage interest deducted with more than $16 billion claimed in 2010. Like NAR, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® believes that the MID is an important tool in facilitating homeownership and opposes any efforts to change or reduce it. Find MID talking points and updates at www.realtor.org/topics/mortgage-interest-deduction.

Source: “The Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction” by the Pew Research Center

Snapshot: A Look at Today’s REALTOR®

As the real estate market has improved, so too has business activity and income for REALTORS®. The median gross income of a REALTOR® was $43,500 in 2012 compared to $34,900 in 2011 and the median number of transaction sides or commercial deals handled in 2012 was 12, an increase from 10 in 2011, according to the 2013 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile.

More stats from the profile:

  • 80 percent of REALTORS® are certain they will remain in the business for two more years, up from 76 percent last year.
  • For the third year in a row, REALTORS® reported that mortgagefinancing obstacles are a top reason potential clients are limited.
  • The typical agent worked on at least one foreclosure transaction and one involving a short sale.
  • 70 percent of REALTORS® have had a website for at least five years; 56 percent use social media
  • Email is the top method for communicating with clients at 92 percent, followed by telephone calls at 90 percent and text messaging at 74 percent
  • 36 percent of REALTORS® own at least one residential investment property
  • 10 percent own at least one commercial property
  • 94 percent of REALTORS® voted in the last national election; 86 percent voted in the last local election.

Source: www.realtor.org/reports/member-profile

Beware the zombie foreclosures that just won’t die 

RealtyTrac estimates that there are about 302,000 “zombie” foreclosures in the U.S.  — with more than 31,000 found in Illinois — that are haunting the recovering housing market this year. The term “zombie foreclosure” has been popping up in media stories lately, but what exactly is it? RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosure data, defines it as “undead” properties where the foreclosure process has been started and homeowners have vacated only to find out later that they still own the home and could be on the hook for taxes and fees because the foreclosure process was not finalized. 


WANTED: Your app recommendations and comments

Know of a great app you want to share with other REALTORS® or do you just want to comment on popular existing apps? NAR’s newest member service, REpurposedApps, allows REALTORS® to share recommendations on apps they find useful for their business and life. Create an account and get talking!


Freddie Mac kickstarts streamlined modification program early

Rather than wait until the original July 1 start date, Freddie Mac announced in May that it was immediately making available its new program offering streamlined loan modifications to delinquent borrowers. Under the new program, qualifying homeowners do not have to submit documentation for the modification and after completing a successful trial period, may enter into a permanent modification. Learn more at www.freddiemac.com.


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July 2013

July 2013 cover

First-time buyers are more willing to compromise on the house, but not on the neighborhood, according to real estate website Doorsteps. The average age of a first time buyer is 31 and the average income of $61,800.

Source: Doorsteps, www.doorsteps.com


The percentage of REALTORS® who expect U.S. home prices to be constant or increase in the next 12 months.

Source: REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, April 2013