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Real Estate News

Latest Realty News from NAR

REALTORS® Respond to EPA’s Proposed WOTUS Revision

Shannon McGahn, NAR’s Vice President of Government Affairs, issued the following statement after the EPA yesterday unveiled a proposal to change the Waters of the U.S. definition in order to clarify which waters are and are not regulated by the federal government.

“Shannon McGahn, NAR’s Vice President of Government Affairs, issued the following statement after the EPA today unveiled a proposal to change the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) definition in order to clarify which waters are and are not regulated by the federal government.

“Clean water is essential to life. It creates the opportunity for a healthy environment, growing economy and allows us to live in vibrant neighborhoods across this country. That’s why the National Association of Realtors® continues to support voluntary, market-based solutions that enhance the quality of our water resources while protecting private property rights.
However, as it was written nearly five years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule greatly expanded the federal government’s control over local land use decisions, inhibiting real estate development and economic growth in countless American communities.

“Today’s announcement brings us closer to a clear and consistent definition of WOTUS, providing much needed certainty to America’s development and real estate industries. NAR looks forward to continuing our work alongside Congress, the White House and the EPA in the joint effort to improve WOTUS, protect private property, and secure clean water for everyone in this country.”

NAR Leadership and Staff Named Real Estate’s 2019 Newsmakers

More than 230 real estate professionals were named as “newsmakers” for their role as influencers, crusaders, and trailblazers in the industry. RISMedia, a real estate news and information service, announced its “Class of 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers,” highlighting those in the industry who have made headlines over the past year because of their newsworthy contributions to the real estate industry.

The National Association of Realtors® was well-represented, with the following named to the “Class of 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers” list:

  • John Smaby, NAR President
  • Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist
  • Katie Johnson, NAR General Counsel
  • Dave Garland, managing director of Second Century Ventures, NAR’s investment arm
  • Charlie Oppler, NAR First Vice President
  • Ginny Shipe, CEO of the Real Estate Business Institute and an NAR board member

To view the full list of the 230 professionals, visit the RISMedia Newsmakers Gallery.

 

Realtors® Applaud Administration’s Calls to End Conservatorship

Earlier this week, during an address to the Mortgage Bankers Association 2018 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C, Treasury Department Secretary Deputy Craig Phillips reiterated a Trump administration priority to end the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, issued the following statement in response.

“Realtors® applaud the administration’s calls to end conservatorship while maintaining an explicit government guarantee as NAR continues to support a methodical, measured approach to GSE reform that will put the secondary mortgage market on the path to sustainability. As this process continues, we urge policymakers in Washington to prioritize reforms that ensure broad access, provide liquidity to the national market, and promote stability in the housing market, particularly during times of economic distress. NAR looks forward to furthering these discussions with the administration as we work to secure the necessary, common sense market reforms that will benefit our broader economy.”

Realtors® Applaud Senate Passage of 2018 WRDA Bill

WASHINGTON (October 10, 2018) – National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, issued the following statement after the Senate today voted to pass S. 3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

“America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 ensures the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can continue providing vital economic and environmental services to property owners across this country. Overall, this legislation supports U.S. economic development and the real estate industry by investing in natural disaster and flood control protections; by securing clean, sustainable drinkable water for everyone in America; and by maintaining waterways and ports that help us transport goods across the country.

“The bill is particularly beneficial to Realtors® in Florida who are working to address the state’s critical infrastructure needs, specifically by funding research to combat harmful algal blooms that surfaced in the state earlier this year. NAR applauds the Senate and House for moving this legislation swiftly, and we look forward to seeing it signed into law in the coming days.”

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Instant Reaction: September Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to this morning’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the employment situation in September:

“Job growth in September was positive yet slower compared to recent months, while the unemployment rate is low at 3.7% and wages are slowly pushing up. However, more jobs and higher wages are not the only key factors for home buying. The tightening labor market, along with some pick up in wages and prices, have forced the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.  Another rate hike after this year’s election is expected and higher mortgage rates in turn will hold back home sales in high-priced markets. Lower-priced markets will be supported by job growth,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. 

 

 

Realtors Urge Deduction for Rental Income

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a 20 percent deduction for sole proprietors and owners of S corporations and other business entities. This was designed to provide roughly the same rate cut provided to regular corporations.

It is unclear, however, whether owners of rental real estate will be able to claim the deduction.

This week, the National Association of Realtors publicly called on the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to treat all real property rental activity as eligible for the 20 percent deduction.

Text of the letter can be found here.

It reads: “Without the change discussed above, millions of individual taxpayers who earn rental income from real property would need to wade through voluminous and confusing references to tax authority to try to determine whether they believe2 they are eligible for the deduction.”

Pending Home Sales Dip 1.8 Percent in August

Pending home sales fell slightly in August and have now decreased on an annual basis for eight straight months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,  a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 1.8 percent to 104.2 in August from 106.1 in July. With last month’s decline, contract signings are now down 2.3 percent year-over-year.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says that low inventory continues to contribute to the housing market slowdown. “Pending home sales continued a slow drip downward, with the fourth month over month decline in the past five months,” he said.

“Contract signings also fell backward again last month, as declines in the West negatively impacted overall activity,” he said. “The greatest decline occurred in the West region where prices have shot up significantly, which clearly indicates that affordability is hindering buyers and those affordability issues come from lack of inventory, particularly in moderate price points.”

According to the third quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, a record high number of Americans believe now is a good time to sell. “Just a couple of years ago about 55 percent of consumers indicated it was a good time to sell; that figure has climbed close to 77 percent today.”

Instant Reaction: Lawrence Yun on Today’s FOMC Statement

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to today’s Federal Reserve decision to raise interest rates:

“The era of super-low mortgage rates is over and consumers will face higher interest rates over the next two years. Another rate hike by the Fed is almost certain before year’s end, along with three further rounds of increases in 2019. These interest rate increases are occurring for good reason: an improving economy. Therefore, home sales should hold steady as the opposing forces of higher rates and more jobs neutralize each other. Home price growth will surely slow, however, as higher interest rates limit the stretching of the homebuyers’ budget,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. 

Realtors® Recognize National Voter Registration Day

With just six weeks remaining until the 2018 midterm election, today marks National Voter Registration Day in America.

This morning, National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, called on America’s 1.3 million Realtors® to ensure they are registered to vote this November.

“An astounding 74 percent of Realtors® cast a vote in the 2016 national election,” Mendenhall said. “While that number certainly outpaces that of the general population, it is critical that the voices of even more Realtors® and consumers who care about home ownership and real estate investment are heard this Election Day.”

Mendenhall went on to stress the need for NAR to take advantage of its vast membership in order to continue positively influencing policies across the country.

“Improving upon the 85 percent of Realtors® currently registered could add nearly 200,000 voters to rolls across the country,” NAR’s President continued. “That would nearly guarantee the issues that matter most to the real estate industry remain a priority for America’s lawmakers.

In accordance with National Voter Registration Day, NAR is contacting hundreds of thousands of its members directly through social media channels and text message subscriptions to remind people to register to vote. NAR is also encouraging members to visit realtorparty.realtor/vote2018 to find information on registration and other important voter resources.

Currently, 84.98 percent of Realtors® are registered to vote this November. That comes as 74.37% of NAR’s members voted in the 2016 election, compared to the national average of 55.82%.

“On September 25, NAR is urging all of our members – and every eligible adult in America – to ensure they are registered to vote this November,” Mendenhall concluded.

Realtors Release 2018 Member Safety Report

As a part of Realtor® Safety Month, the National Association of Realtors® released its 2018 Member Safety Report, which surveyed over 3,000 Realtors®, members of the National Association of Realtors®, about how safe they feel while on the job, their personal safety experiences and the safety procedures they follow.

The report found that nearly a third of Realtors® experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information, and that 43 percent of Realtors® choose to carry self-defense weapons.

“Realtors® understand better than anyone the safety risks associated with real estate transactions. Because of that,it is imperative for members to share safety protocols with home buyers so they can learn about what they may encounter during the home buying process,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.

The most common circumstances that resulted in fearful situations were open houses, showing vacant and model homes, working with properties that were unlocked or unsecured and showing homes in remote areas.

Click here to read the full report.

 



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