Metro Boston Real Estate Market Forecast for 2013

The Mark Strickland Team Blog

2013Is the upswing in Metro Boston home prices likely to continue through 2013? I can give you a very short, conditional answer: yes! Let me explain the condition and the basis for optimism.

At the time of this post, the “fiscal cliff” budget debate remains unsettled. Until we have more direction from our lawmakers, any forward-looking statements about the Greater Boston real estate market must be tempered with caution. Any significant changes to economic policy, especially in regard to housing, could impact market activity.

Now I’ll share the basis for optimism. Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft, projects that mortgage interest rates will be under 4% throughout 2013. He expects home prices to rise 2% to 3% nationwide. New home construction starts are expected to reach an annual rate of 1 million near the end of 2013.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts homes have been selling for higher prices. November 2012 home sales…

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By the Oracle

Presidential Statement on Ambassador Rice

Statement by the President on Ambassador Rice

Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State. For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant. As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel’s security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people. I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend. While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country.

By the Oracle

Michael Dukakis Will Not Be Interim Senator If Kerry Resigns

CBS Boston

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BOSTON (CBS) – Former Gov. Michael Dukakis says he will not be a candidate for appointment as interim senator should Sen. John Kerry resign to accept appointment as Secretary of State.

In a brief State House interview Monday, Dukakis told WBZ-TV: “I’m headed for the West to teach,” alluding to his annual spring-semester teaching duties at UCLA.

“That’s a no,” said Dukakis in reference to a possible appointment by Gov. Deval Patrick to fill the seat until a special election can be held. Dukakis also said he had not been contacted by the governor’s office in regard to a possible appointment.

Dukakis dismissed speculation that Beacon Hill Democrats might seek to once again change the succession law to allow the governor to appoint someone to fill out the remainder of Kerry’s term, which runs through 2014. The law was changed in 2004 as Kerry sought the…

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By the Oracle

Rice Out As Secretary Of State Candidate; Sen. Kerry The Frontrunner?

CBS Boston

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BOSTON (CBS) – U.N. ambassador Susan Rice is officially withdrawing her name from consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Rice was considered a top contender for the position before finding herself at the center of a controversy surrounding her account of the attack on the American Embassy in Libya on September 11.

In a statement, President Obama acknowledged that he had “accepted” Rice’s decision to remove her name from consideration, and expressed “every confidence” in her ability to “serve our country now and in the years to come.”

Rice’s withdrawal immediately renewed speculation about Massachusetts Senator John Kerry being the next Secretary of State.

WBZ-TV Political Editor Jon Keller says Sen. Kerry is now seen by most political insiders as the frontrunner for the job.

Kerry is currently the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He was also reportedly being considered…

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By the Oracle

Gov. Scott Wants To Talk Healthcare With Pres. Obama

CBS Miami

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – While President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner work on a deal to keeps Americans from falling off a fiscal cliff come January, Gov. Rick Scott has another issue on his mind.


Scott and several other Republican governors have written to the Obama administration requesting a meeting with the president to discuss the federal health overhaul, including ways to make expanding the Medicaid rolls and setting up online health exchanges more affordable for states with tight budgets.

The request comes after the Obama administration said Monday that states can do a partial Medicaid expansion, but they wouldn’t get the three years of 100 percent federal funding provided under the law.

Scott had previously requested to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss his concerns that the law could burden state taxpayers. He told reporters Tuesday he was disappointed in her…

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By the Oracle

The Boston Harbor Picayune

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We constantly comb through blogs looking for hidden gems of true artistic expression

We seek to shine a little light on some of the better hidden corners of the blogosphere. It’s hard for a blogger to get his or her voice heard at times.

We look for raw talent as well as established presences to give our readers a window into the worlds of other artists and writers.

There is one thing that all purveyors of the written word understand utterly and completely… that a word, a sentence, a paragraph,  a chapter, a book, a blog, an editorial, all serve the author to one purpose: To make the intangible, an idea or a thought, into a tangible thing, that exists in paper or digital form.

The reader who reads a blog or buys a book or magazine absorbs mere words and intangibly changes.

I believe that these shared thoughts are how…

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By the Oracle

The Boston Harbor Picayune

It’s unclear whether Starbucks ever actually refused to donate coffee to U.S. Marines who requested it — but if they did, it wasn’t because, as the above email claims, “they don’t support the war and anyone in it.”


Marine Sgt. Howard C. Wright, who authored the original message in May 2004, subsequently issued a mea culpa (currently being distributed by Starbucks in answer to queries about the issue) in which he said:

Almost 5 months ago I sent an email to you my faithful friends. I did a wrong thing that needs to be cleared up. I heard by word of mouth about how Starbucks said they didn’t support the war and all. I was having enough of that kind of talk and didn’t do my research properly like I should have. This is not true. Starbucks supports men and women in uniform. They have personally contacted me and…

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By the Oracle