Voice for Real Estate: February 3, 2020

Feb 10, 2020
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NAR remains committed to fighting for fair housing and equal opportunity for all with the new Fair Housing Action Plan. Take a look back at 2019's achievements, and learn about Volunteer Works, a year-long mentorship program for REALTORS® who are expanding their community service programs.

Voice For Real Estate: February 3, 2020: Transcript

NAR doubles down on Fair Housing.

Our greatest achievements in 2019.

And could a mentor help your community service program reach even more people?

These stories and more – on The Voice for Real Estate.

Hi, I'm Stephen Gasque, with the National Association of REALTORS®.

In the wake of a fair housing investigation by one New York newspaper, NAR is reminding members, and the public, about NAR’s strong commitment to equal housing opportunity.

The Leadership Team has approved a new plan called “ACT,” which stands for Accountability, Culture Change and Training.

Since last August NAR had created a Fair Housing Committee to more effectively advance fair housing policy. This is in addition to our Diversity Committee, which deals with inclusivity which deals with inclusivity of real estate agents of all different backgrounds. And so the Fair Housing Committee provides us with the opportunity to shine a greater light on these issues.

It has been 51 years since the fair housing act was passed, but there is still a lot of work to do and NAR is committed to fighting for fair housing and equal opportunity for all. We want our members to have all the tools they need to promote fair housing to ensure that all people are treated fairly and equally in their search for a home.


2019 was a great year for the REALTOR® Party. REALTORS® made big wins on issues that affect not only their businesses, but also the lives of people across America.

Here are some highlights - from a very long list of accomplishments.

First: NAR worked with The Department of Housing and Urban Development to cut the red tape on FHA condo loans! So more people can experience the American Dream of homeownership.

Under the new rules, FHA certifications on condo developments now last three years - not just two.

Spot mortgage approvals, for single units, are also allowed.

And HUD allows more flexibility in the ratio of investors to owner-occupants in condo buildings.

Also in 2019, NAR worked closely with Congressional leaders for the National Flood Insurance Program to be reauthorized.

The NFIP was extended nine months, through September 30, 2020.

Flooding is not just a coastal issue. Since 1996, 98% of U.S. counties had at least one federal disaster declaration. Without flood insurance, private property all across America will be in jeopardy.

So, NAR continues to fight for a 5-year extension of the NFIP, and also other improvements. Including? Better flood mapping, and fewer barriers to private flood insurance.

And -- on the heels of the 75th anniversary of the GI Bill -- the “Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act” became law.

Under the Act, the loan limits on VA-guaranteed loans are eliminated. That means a veteran who qualifies for a mortgage, regardless of the amount, may take advantage of the VA benefit, and its zero down payment option.

You can see the full list of NAR’s 2019 successes at the REALTOR® Party website.


2019 went out like a lion - as existing home sales surged!

In December, existing-home sales increased by 3.6% compared to November, but year-over-year? They were up 10.8%! A double-digit increase! NAR’s Lawrence Yun explains why.

Buyers took advantage of the low-interest-rate environment, a good job market, record-high stock market conditions. But as buyers began to eat away at the inventory, we hit the lowest point in inventory ever, or at least since we began tracking the data since early 1980s.

And finally today, do you give back to your community by volunteering? And if so - would you like that good work to grow? Well, NAR might be able to help.

NAR has a year-long mentorship program for REALTORS® who are expanding their community service program. It’s called ‘Volunteering Works, and it’s sponsored by the Wells Fargo Foundation.

Each year the program matches five REALTORS® with community service mentors– fellow REALTORS® who have been recognized by NAR for their extraordinary efforts to help, in their communities.

Five applicants will be selected to receive a $1,000 grant to use as seed money for their community program. And, they’ll also get one year of one-on-one mentoring from a member of the Good Neighbor Society.

Where every person - is a past recipient of NAR’s Good Neighbor Award.

The winning candidates will be selected based on their dedication, track record of volunteer work, and the potential of their program.

If you’re interested - act fast! Because the application deadline for Volunteering Works is February 28. Visit this link to learn more and submit your application.

And that’s our show for Week of February 3.

You can find more about everything we talked about today at nar.realtor.

We hope to see you again soon, as we bring you the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.

Brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® - your advocate for housing and property rights in Washington, across America, and in your neighborhood.

This is the Voice for Real Estate.

Each week, NAR Leadership and industry experts share tips and updates on the real estate industry during this unprecedented time.
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