A. Collectively, we Realtors remain committed to the value of homeownership and policies that support it like the mortgage interest deduction. Unfortunately, we have some in Congress who would eliminate this critical tax deduction and in doing so give away the economic and social benefits the home ownership is proven to create. For example, real estate contributes more than $2 trillion to the U.S. GDP, creating one new job for every two homes sold. And there are other benefits that defy valuation. For example, homeowners are more involved in their children's academic performance and as a result their kids do better in school. Homeowners also move less, which adds stability to the neighborhood. In fact, homeowners are more likely to vote, more likely to volunteer and more likely to establish crime prevention programs in their community.
Q. The U.S. House and Senate recently restored the Federal Housing Authority's conforming loan limits to the level before they were allowed to expire at the end of September. As a result, the limits will rise to 125% of the area median home price — up to a maximum $729,750 from $625,500. How do you think this will affect Orange County's real estate market?