NAR Legislative Priorities

Protecting Rights. Expanding Access. Building Prosperity.

Priority Issues One-pager (PDF: 3.08 MB) | Talking Points (PDF: 342 KB)

REALTORS® serve residential and commercial property buyers and sellers in every zip code. Members of the National Association of REALTORS® provide critical support to consumers, serving as a trusted advisor through one of the biggest financial decisions of their lifetime.

With current market challenges like rising prices and low inventory, as well as shifting trends in commercial real estate, those seeking to buy or sell a home or open or expand a business know they need a REALTOR® by their side.

Today’s Real Estate Market: Quick Facts

  • Considering the historical average level of housing construction and the 14 years of underproduction, our country still lacks 4.7 million homes.
  • Middle-income buyers are feeling the inventory shortage the most. About 376,200 listings in the price range of $250,000 and under are missing from the market.
  • Homeownership greatly enhances family net worth. Homeowners have 40 times the net worth of renters. Home equity and retirement accounts represent over 60% of households’ net worth.
  • In the last decade, middle-income homeowners have accumulated more than $125,000 in wealth due to price appreciation alone.
  • Real estate represents 17.8% of U.S. GDP. Each home sale produces $125,000 in local economic activity and generates two jobs.
  • In 2023, state and local governments collected more than $760 billion in property tax revenue. Property taxes accounted for 37.6% of state and local tax receipts.
  • Real estate professionals are vital to thriving communities. 88% of REALTORS® are independent contractors at their firms and 65% are women, using their professional expertise to help consumers navigate the intricacies of real estate transactions.

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Update America’s Tax Law to Increase Access to Homeownership

Addressing housing affordability starts with adding to the nation’s severely limited inventory. The U.S. is facing an underbuilding gap of 5.5 million units, translating to a $4.4 trillion underinvestment in housing. America’s tax law can and must do more to promote homeownership, build stable communities, and boost economic growth.

REALTOR® Priorities

  • Cosponsor the bipartisan More Homes on the Market Act to incentivize more long-term owners to sell their homes by increasing the maximum amount of capital gains a homeowner can exclude on the sale of a principal residence and annually adjusting it for inflation.
    • H.R. 1321 is sponsored by Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA). 
  • Cosponsor the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act to attract private investment for building and rehabilitating owner-occupied homes by offering tax credits that create a pathway to neighborhood stability through sustainable homeownership. Providing this powerful incentive to build and rehabilitate homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners can fill the gap in areas where it is often more expensive to develop or rehabilitate than appraisal values will support.
    • S. 657 is sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
    • H.R. 3940 is sponsored by Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Brian Higgins (D-NY).
  • Cosponsor the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act or legislative provisions to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and encourage investment in creating and preserving affordable housing.
    • S. 1557 is sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden, (D-OR), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
    • H.R. 3238 is sponsored by Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Don Beyer (D-VA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)
  • Support small business by preserving the 199A qualified business income deduction and keeping taxes on business income lower for independent contractors and pass-through business owners.
  • Support commercial real estate investment and economic development by preserving 1031 like-kind exchanges.
  • Incentivize homeownership by increasing the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and eliminate the penalty for married taxpayers filing jointly, who have the same maximum deduction as single filers.

Ensure Equal Access to Professional Representation and Support Fair Housing

As stewards of the right to own, use, and transfer private property, REALTORS® know an open housing market free from discrimination benefits consumers, communities, and the American economy. Yet, more than 50 years after passage of the federal Fair Housing Act, the homeownership rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans lag behind that of White Americans. The LGBTQ+ community continues to face widespread discrimination in housing.

Bound by a Code of Ethics, REALTORS® are committed to upholding fair housing laws and removing barriers to homeownership.

REALTOR® Priorities

  • Ensure veterans maintain access to professional representation and can compete in the market by giving VA buyers the option to compensate their broker directly.
  • Cosponsor the Direct Seller and Real Estate Agent Harmonization Act to ensure real estate agents maintain their independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act and preserve their ability to choose their preferred business classification.
    • H.R. 5419 is sponsored by Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA).
  • Support the bipartisan Fair and Equal Housing Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.
    • H.R. 4439 is sponsored by Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
  • Reauthorize and increase funding for HUD fair housing enforcement programs. Congress should support legislation that reauthorizes and increases funding for HUD’s fair housing enforcement programs.

NAR Research Helps Inform Policymaking

The NAR Research Group is a resource both for REALTORS® and the members of Congress who represent them. Our skilled economists produce and analyze a wide range of data, providing the best resources and information on real estate.

Research reports, papers, case studies, and surveys examine the latest trends and activities in real estate, as well as the impact national policies have or may have on this critical sector that makes up one-fifth of the nation’s economy.

These resources are available to policymakers, and we encourage their use when considering legislation that affects real estate and real estate professionals. Here are a few recent NAR Research reports that can inform policymaking:

These and many more reports, surveys, and data collections are available on the NAR Research page.

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Shaping NAR’s 2024 Policy Priorities

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April 25, 2024
Learn how your feedback directly shapes NAR’s legislative priorities, as thousands of NAR members prepare to take these asks to Congress in May.

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