The Voice for Real Estate: September 3, 2019

The Voice for Real Estate: September 3, 2019

Sep 3, 2019
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Big changes to FHA condo loans coming in October; a look inside NAR's 2nd Innovation, Opportunity & Investment Summit; and a new effort to reduce food waste and feed the hungry. This week’s video is sponsored by the REALTOR® Benefits Program.

The Voice for Real Estate: September 3, 2019: Transcript

New condo rules championed by NAR will open doors for homebuyers all across America.

Innovation, Opportunity & Investment - we’ll bring you to NAR’s iOi Summit.

And a giant step by NAR - to fight hunger!

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

The Voice for Real Estate is sponsored by NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program. Your official member benefits program. Bringing you savings and unique offers on products and services, just for REALTORS®. Learn more at

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

Get ready for a big change in the way the FHA handles mortgages for condominiums!

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has finalized new rules for Federal Housing Administration condo loans.

Starting in mid-October, lenders should be able to make many more FHA-insured condo loans - which means more people can experience the American Dream.

It’s especially important for first-time buyers, because, quite often, condos are more affordable than single-family homes. And the FHA backed mortgages are available with a down payment as low as three-and-a-half percent (3.5%).

But getting an FHA-backed home loan for a condo has been riddled with red tape. Now, more buyers, and more condominium associations, will be approved for FHA-backed mortgage financing.

JOHN SMABY: This is not only good for buyers. It’s good for sellers, it’s good for affordability and, really, it’s very important in, let’s call it the housing chain, across America.

Under the new rules, FHA certifications on condo developments will be extended from two to three years.

Single-unit mortgage, or spot, approvals will also be allowed.

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

MEGAN BOOTH: The new rules were published on August 14 and go into effect on October 14. We think it’s a great start and should allow a lot more FHA buyers access to condominiums, but there’s always room for improvement.

We’ll be working with HUD on a couple tweaks to the program - for example, with the spot loan approvals, what they call single-unit approval, we’d like to see a little more flexibility on how units can be approved. We’ll be working on that.

There’s also an issue with FHA concentration. HUD puts a limit on how many units can have FHA financing, we may want to work with them a little bit with the language around that.


NAR’s second annual Innovation, Opportunity and Investment Summit united more than 500 real estate professionals and tech entrepreneurs in Seattle. The goal? Collaboration, networking, and change leadership.

One of the biggest highlights was the Shark Tank-style pitch battle. Thousands watched over livestream and in person as 14 technology start-ups pitched their products to investors.

Curbio was crowned the winner, taking home a $15,000 prize. The Maryland-based company provides renovations designed to get a home ready for sale - projects that are paid off at closing.

RIKKI ROGERS: Every year, homeowners give away billions of dollars in equity because they decide to put their homes on the market without renovating first. We let every homeowner flip their own property and cash in on their most important asset.

The iOi Summit capped off with Leadership Live, where members of NAR’s Leadership Team discussed real estate, technology, and the future...and provided insights on where the industry is headed.

VINCE MALTA: REALTORS® are essential with our consumers, and I think that all these companies demonstrated that here at iOi.

KITTY WALLACE: We have to get outside of our comfort zone and embrace the change. So attending something like this, and Bob thank you so much, I’m going to smile when I write my dues check. Because knowing that the National Association of REALTORS® has put something like this on is incredible.

We hope to see you at next year’s event for more innovation, opportunity, and investment insights.


Good news for home sales! In July, existing-home sales rose by 2.5% month over month and 0.6% year over year - a very positive development.

We asked NAR’s Jessica Lautz what effect, if any, recent stock market turmoil was having on the housing market.

JESSICA LAUTZ: Uncertainty in the market could create problems as people feel confident about their home purchase, especially if you’re having a difficult time purchasing that home because you can’t even find one because of low inventory in the market.


Also, a new commitment to fight hunger announced during NAR’s Annual Leadership Summit in Chicago.

From now on, the extra food at NAR events and meetings will be donated to the hungry. It will be verified to be safe, collected, and distributed by the Food Recovery Network, which helps businesses and universities recover surplus food for those in need.

At NAR’s Leadership Summit in August, CEO Bob Goldberg asked state and local associations to join in the effort.

BOB GOLDBERG: I’m going to ask everybody, if you want to participate, where you have opportunities with excess food, to give it to hungry people in your communities. I’m going to ask you to hold up your phones and text 52886, again 52886. What that number will do, and we’ll see up on the map here in a second - all the areas that have chosen to take up this pledge with us.

Now it's your turn to take the pledge. You can join the Food Recovery Network’s efforts - and multiply all this good work.

And that’s our show for the week of September 2nd.

You can find more about everything we talked about today at

Now on our next show, we’ll have special coverage about how you can attend the largest, most action-packed real estate event in the country. The REALTORS® Conference & Expo. And it’s happening Nov. 8th to 11th in San Francisco. We hope to see you there.

Until then, thanks for joining us, and 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®.

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