Monday, November 14, 2011

Realtors® ready to ‘seize the day’ for America’s homeowners

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Realtors® ready to ‘seize the day’ for America’s homeowners
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Nov. 11, 2011 – During the opening session today at this week’s meetings, National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Ron Phipps outlined obstacles and opportunities facing the real estate industry as the 2011 Realtors Conference & Expo opened in Anaheim, Calif.

“For the first time in generations, the American dream of homeownership is being threatened,” said Phipps. “We need to keep housing first on the nation’s public policy agenda, because housing and homeownership issues affect all Americans.”

As Realtors convene in California this week, conforming loan limits is one top-of-mind issue. On Oct. 1, Congress allowed those limits to revert from 125 percent of the local area median home price to 115 percent of the local median home price. As a result, homebuyers and sellers in 669 counties across 42 states and the District of Columbia have been affected. The lower limits mean that fewer people have access to mortgage loans, and the loans that are available will be more expensive.

“Mortgage availability remains a real concern since the private market has yet to return,” said Phipps. “While the housing market is still in recovery, we firmly believe that lower loan limits will only further restrict liquidity in mortgage markets.”

NAR has urged Congress to reinstate the higher loan limits temporarily, and more than 200 members of Congress currently support efforts to reinstate these limits.

Session attendees also heard about the results of last month’s New Solutions for America’s Housing Crisis forum. As a result of this forum, NAR endorsed a five-point housing solutions plan to help re-energize housing markets and spur the economic recovery.

“Realtors and the families we work with, day in and day out, know that homeownership matters,” says Phipps. “And now, with our combined and continued efforts, we’re going to make sure that policymakers understand that, too.”

This year’s Realtors Conference & Expo is expected to draw about 18,000 Realtors and guests. More than 400 exhibitors are expected to participate in the Expo, which showcases the latest real estate products and innovations across various fields, including technology, data communications and financial programs and services.

© 2011 Florida Realtors®

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