"This year’s report starts off with a hard-hitting review and forecast of the volatility of the housing market by three chief economists and leads right into how the current “fiscal cliff” could very well point to us becoming a “renter nation”. The Mortgage Interest Deduction debate moves to the pages of the 2013 Trends Report with a review of this politically sensitive issue and why its possibly inevitable loss may severely cripple an already depressed housing market. “To be frank, mortgage debt isn’t as popular as it used to be”, says Donald B. Marron Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
Two large transactions also draw a lot of attention and scrutiny. First was Warren Buffet’s
successful acquisition of the combined networks of more than 53,000
Prudential Real Estate and Real Living agents generating in excess of
$72 billion in sales volume in 2011. And secondly the successful IPO of
the world’s largest residential real estate brokerage group Realogy
obtaining a $3.5 billion dollar market cap on day one. It is estimated
that these two groups collectively between them control over 50% of the
home sales in the United States. Add in Keller Williams Realty
and RE/MAX Swanepoel says and you can see how this industry once
dominate by ten of thousands of “Mom and Pop” business have in two
decades consolidated down the “Fab Four” holding companies with control
of over two thirds of all home sales in the United States."