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Daily Real Estate News  |  November 5, 2010  |   Golder: Stand Up for Home Ownership
2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® President Vicki Cox Golder on Thursday urged real estate practitioners to confront those questioning public support of home ownership.

"It’s time to stand up and tell the world that home ownership is still the heart of the American Dream," Golder said to a packed ballroom of REALTORS® at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in New Orleans.

NAR’s Home Ownership Matters campaign aims to help the public understand the value of responsible, sustainable home ownership, and to preserve federal home ownership incentives, such as the mortgage interest deduction. After Golder’s speech, 2011 NAR President Ron Phipps took the stage to interview FHA Commissioner David Stevens.

Stevens echoed Golder, saying that banks must realize the importance of making mortgage money readily available. He criticized the banks’ current “one-size-fits-all” approach to mortgage lending, and said lenders should looking at potential borrowers' files more comprehensively, considering other factors besides a simple credit score.

“(These policies) are restricting home ownership, and we need to do something about that," Stevens said. "One-fifth of the gross domestic product of the U.S. economy is tied to the housing sector, so home ownership matters.”

But Stevens cautioned that lending isn't the only challenge today. The real estate industry also must close a "trust deficit" with Americans, especially with echo-boomers in their early 20s to early 30s who represent the future of real estate demand.

"We’ve got to weed out the bad players," Stevens said to loud applause.“Shed the light on anyone who’s just out to make a buck. We need to have very accountable and responsible behavior.”

Phipps agreed, saying that it's no longer good enough to tell customers that it's a good time to buy a home. “Yes, the market fundamentals are good," he said. "But we need to rebuild confidence.”

Some 20,000 REALTORS® and guests are in New Orleans Nov. 5-8 for NARdiGras 2010, the REALTORS® Conference and Expo.

For dispatches on the latest news from the conference, visit REALTOR® Magazine's Speaking of Real Estate blog or REALTOR® Magazine online.

—REALTOR® Magazine

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