Jonathan Sweet is the editor in chief of Professional Remodeler, an award-winning trade publication for remodelers and home improvement contractors. He started his career covering homes and small businesses at a daily newspaper and has spent more than a decade writing for several construction trade publications including Qualified Remodeler, Construction Pro and Concrete Contractor+Jonathan Sweet

So apparently there is something Republicans and Democrats can agree on: the housing industry is an easy target.

The latest proposal from both Senate Democrats and House Republicans to pay for the extension of the payroll tax cut calls for extra fees to be tacked on to what Fannie and Freddie charge lenders.

This month we named our Remodeler of the Year — Anthony Home Improvements in Elkins Park, Pa.

We chose the company for a number of reasons, but reason No. 1A is the company’s ability to adapt to a changing climate, something many firms have struggled to do.

One of the most depressing/astounding/frustrating things about the current race for president has been the complete lack of attention to housing.

The candidates aren’t talking about it. Visit their websites and you’d be hard pressed to find any prominent mention of the topic of housing, mortgage finance or residential investment.

If there’s one theme that runs through this year’s Professional Remodeler Design Awards, presented this month, it’s practical.

After years of seeing over-the-top remodels that, frankly, didn’t always make a lot of sense (does anyone really need a $250,000 bathroom?), it’s a refreshing change.

The latest numbers from the Census Bureau confirms what we've all been seeing: more people are doubling-up. Whether it's getting a roommate or recent grads staying with their parents, more people are living together than in the past.

Some 30 percent of households are doubling up, up from 27.7 percent in 2007.

It seems hard to believe now, but when the iPad was introduced last year, there was a lot of question about whether or not Apple had finally made a mistake — would people pay $500 or more for a tablet when all others had failed to catch on in a major way?
Well, we all know the answer to that question. The iPad has been a raging success, with some 25 million sold as of this summer. The even bigger surprise has been the use of the iPad as a business tool, even in the usually tech-averse remodeling industry.

The New York Times today has more information on what the Obama administration is considering to stimulate the housing industry (and hence the economy.)

Consider me underwhelmed. Unfortunately, it's more of the same: mortgage assistance and encouraging rental programs. After all, it's worked so well before.

We all know the job market continues to be lousy more than two years after the recession officially ended. There's a variety of reasons for this.

The Washington Post is reporting this morning that President Obama's jobs program will include amongst its many proposals more relief for struggling homeowners.

The president will lay out the particulars of the proposals after Labor Day. Details are lacking at this point on housing, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

In case you missed it in the news section of HousingZone, Fiserv and Moody's Analytics are predicting home prices will increase in 365 out of 384 metro areas by 2013.

Here are what they're saying will be the top-five and bottom-five performers over the next two years.

The best:

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