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The new year is upon us. December’s copious top ten roundups are beginning to dwindle. Now, it’s time to bring on the lists of hopes, dreams and expectations for 2010!

Benny L. Kass, a real estate columnist for the Washington Post, wrote his own piece entitled “What the new year and new decade will hold for housing market” this weekend. Among the highlights (if you could call them that…):

  • More government paperwork: This year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Reserve are requiring new forms. “New rules that went into effect Jan. 1 require that within three business days of receiving a loan application, mortgage lenders provide potential borrowers a Good Faith Estimate that clearly discloses key loan terms and closing costs.” Also: “HUD has prepared a 49-page booklet, “Shopping for Your Loan,” which must be given to borrowers at the same time they are given the GFE.” These are good things, Kass knows. He’s just concerned that buyers may not actually pay too much attention and heed their warnings.
  • A strong buyers market: The government’s homebuyer credits are helping the market. But in many desirable neighborhoods in D.C., finding the property you want—-at the price you want—-won’t be a cinch. (See this week’s edition of City Paper, coming out on Thursday, for more on that topic by the way.)
  • More foreclosures, especially for commercial properties: “Foreclosures will continue, though not at the same magnitude of the past two years,” writes Kass. “The housing market is rebounding, but a growing crisis is on the horizon for commercial properties. If landlords, big and small, lose their properties, how will this affect the rest of us? That is a question yet to be answered.”

Image by Mr. T in DC Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

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