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Real Estate Market Change in 2016 The market will continue to improve next year. Existing home sales are expected to increase at a moderate pace, although affordability pressures from inventory shortages and rising mortgage rates could slow the potential for even stronger sales …Read more. Home Sellers Reap Highest Profits in Eight Years Profits from home sales have been rising in recent years. They are now generating net returns with substantial gains for sellers. "Homeowners who sold during the third quarter realized an average price gain of $40,658 (17 percent) from the purchase …Read more. Reasons for Sluggish Home Sales Home sales have been notably sluggish during the past couple of months. This puzzles many sellers, considering the historically low interest rates of mortgages in the current market. The National Association of Realtors recently addressed the …Read more. Underwater Homes Phasing Out One indication of an improving housing market is the dwindling number of underwater homes. Reports from several organizations now show a strong improvement in this area, which was formerly a major issue for many homeowners. "The majority of …Read more.
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Online Users Are More Skeptical


Recent studies have shown that most people start their search for a new home by accessing sites on the Internet, in addition to handling many financial affairs online. However, a growing proportion of online users have become very skeptical about privacy issues related to their online use.

More than one-fifth of adults — or 21 percent — say they've had an email or social media account hijacked, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. What's more, 11 percent say they've had important information stolen, such as a social security number, bank account number or credit card.

Most adults — nearly 60 percent — don't believe it's possible to be completely anonymous online, according to the survey of more than 1,000 adults. As such, many people say they take at least some steps to protect their privacy online.

In fact, 86 percent of Internet users say they've taken steps to remove or mask their digital footprint, via actions such as clearing cookies, encrypting email or using virtual networks to mask their Internet protocol address.

Fifty-five percent of the adults admit they've also taken steps to "avoid observation" by specific people, organizations or the government, according to the survey.

What you do online can also affect your reputation, as some of the adults surveyed learned. Six percent of adults say they've had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online, according to an article published by the National Association of Realtors.

Q: Why are residential rentals so active these days?

A: Single-family rentals appear poised to become a significant class of long-term investment asset, according to a new report by financial services firm Keefe, Bruyette and Woods.

The general increase in the rental market brought on by the recession, coupled with elements of recovery such as low inventory and strong re-sales suggest that broad institutional investment in single-family rental properties could emerge as an appealing market, attracting more players in the process.

To find out more about Jim Woodard and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



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Jim Woodard
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