We Will Never Let Up
We Will Never Let Up
Wherever I travel, I try to get a handle on what I call the “Gray Report.” That is, I ask people like me, who’ve been in the business awhile, how they feel about market conditions. Today, I’m hearing that while prices remain weak in many areas, desire to buy is up. Small wonder: Housing affordability is at its highest level since we started keeping records in 1970, and interest rates are at significant lows.
Still, if you’ve followed the European debt crisis or any professional sports team, you know that good news one day can turn into bad news the next. So I want to assure you that the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®is not letting up—and we never will. We’ll continue to do all we can to move the needle—to make sure real estate remains a favorable investment choice, to make sure our elected leaders understand the importance of home ownership and the peripheral markets, and to improve the conditions under which you operate your business. Here are a few examples of the REALTOR®Party at work:
REOs. We all recognize the need to bring down the level of distressed sales. However, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s well-intentioned bulk sales-to-rental program has the potential to destabilize markets that already have low inventories by taking properties that could be sold to individuals at market prices and putting them in the hands of a few investors at fire-sale prices. That goes against everything we believe in as an organization. In discussions with the FHFA, we’ve said the program is largely unneeded in many areas. Markets in Los Angeles differ from those in Miami, which differ from those in Houston. Each area has to be viewed independently. We are being heard!
Short sales. Over the past several years, we’ve fought for policies to help make short sales a viable alternative to foreclosure—from ensuring your right to earn a fair commission to seeking reasonable timelines for decision making. In April, we were gratified to see the FHFA’s new guidelines to servicers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, which will impose timelines on decision making and require weekly updates after 30 days. Again, we are being heard!
Transfer fees. Real estate owners already bear a huge tax burden; it’s not right to tack on a private tax in perpetuity for the benefit of developers. That’s why we’ve long advocated for restrictions on private transfer fees. In March, the FHFA finalized such a restriction, limiting the fees to their traditional uses, such as financing assets that benefit all owners in a development. Meanwhile, in recent years, we’ve supported several REALTOR® campaigns to prohibit state transfer taxes. We are being heard again and again!
We continue to seek reforms that will preserve the secondary mortgage market, ensure the safety and soundness of the FHA, and keep mortgages flowing. We can’t do any of this without you: You are the heart—and soul—of the deal!
See highlights of the May 17 REALTOR® Rally to Preserve the American Dream, and learn more about the REALTOR® Party agenda, at realtoractioncenter.com.
Be a part of NAR’s outreach to consumers. Visit Houselogic.com, and click on Support Home Ownership.
Earn rewards for your active participation. Learn more at mvp.realtor.org.