KIM COOPER: Bad news shadows good

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With all the brouhaha over a low-level comedian’s faux beheading of the president, some good news has been under-reported. That is the president’s proclamation on Thursday, making June National Home Ownership Month. The proclamation begins:

“During National Home ownership Month, we recognize the many benefits of home ownership to our families, our communities, and our Nation. For generations of Americans, owning a home has been an essential element in achieving the American Dream. Home ownership is often the foundation of security and prosperity for families and communities and an enduring symbol of American freedom. This month, we recommit to ensuring hard-working Americans enjoy a fair chance at becoming homeowners.”

Unfortunate, then, that inventory in North Idaho and across the country is falling short of the demand for homes. Even though construction employment numbers are nearly double the reported job creation numbers for other occupations, contractors are not keeping up with demand from want-to-be new homeowners. Much of what is stated in the proclamation reinforces research done by the National Association of Realtors:

“In the years since the Great Recession, home ownership rates have dipped to historic lows. Many Americans are not confident they will ever own a home, a tragic consequence of a decade of weak economic growth, excessive regulations, and stagnant wages. Many young families are unable to achieve the independence they desire because they have difficulty saving for a down payment, overcoming regulatory burdens, or gaining access to adequate credit. These challenges are even more pronounced for minorities, whose home ownership rates remain substantially below those of their fellow Americans.”

Mortgage interest rates that are again below 4 percent can only add to the angst many are feeling when searching for homes. It’s not that they can’t find them, it’s that once they do the same house has been discovered by several others and buyers risk being outbid as homes sell for more than the asking price. Still, we Realtors welcome the validation that home ownership is still a part of the American dream. That is what makes the career of real estate so rewarding — helping people reach their dream and helping them handle what is usually the largest investment of their lives.

It seems that our president feels the same way:

“I am committed to helping hard-working Americans become homeowners. As part of my Administration’s plan to strengthen the middle class and the American housing market, I am working with the Congress on a pro-growth agenda of reducing rules and regulations, cutting taxes, and eliminating unnecessary government spending. These policies will unshackle our economy and create and sustain high-paying jobs so that more Americans have the resources and freedom they deserve to fulfill their American Dream.”

Good news for the future of real estate. Not so much for Kathy Griffin.

Trust an expert…call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.

• • •

Kim Cooper is a real estate broker and the spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Kim and the association invite your feedback and input for this column. You may contact them by writing to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, 409 W. Neider, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 or by calling (208) 667-0664.

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