State Roundup: California, Michigan, and Ohio

March 1, 2006

California: Million-dollar homes aren’t what they used to be

Thanks to soaring home prices, the number of million-dollar homes sold in the state rose 47 percent in 2005 to almost 49,000, DataQuick Information Systems says. And they’re not that grandiose. The typical house is 2,480 square feet with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. In addition, almost 3,000 California condos sold for $1 million-plus, marking a gain of 73 percent from 2004.

Michigan: Eminent domain amendment?

REALTORS® back a resolution passed by the state legislature to prohibit local governments and the state from exercising eminent domain powers for economic development projects. The resolution, known as SJR-E, passed at the close of last year, calls for enshrining the prohibition in a constitutional amendment. The resolution has no binding authority; rather, it authorizes a vote on the amendment in statewide elections in November. “This amendment will make it clear that private property can’t be taken solely for economic development purposes,” says Brad Ward, director of public policy and legal affairs at the Michigan Association of REALTORS®.

Ohio: Fines set to promote MLS data accuracy

To maintain the accuracy of its listings, the Columbus MLS is imposing fines on members who fail to keep their listing data updated. Fines, which will be imposed as of April 1, will range from $50 to $500 and cover everything from adding multiple entries of the same property to giving a login name and password to a nonmember. Violators have 30 days to pay a fine and 15 days to appeal. “We’ve had record home sales and maybe that’s why more problems arise,” says Chris Reese, 2006 president of the Columbus Board of Realtors®. The decision to impose fines was made after seeing the positive impact of fines on the quality of MLS data in the Cleveland and Cincinnati boards, among others, says Reese.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.

Jane Adler is a Chicago-based freelancer writer.

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