The Voice for Real Estate 27: Home Prices Peak

Existing-home sales in June are on pace to hit 5.5 million by the end of 2015, and the national median price reached its highest level ever, surpassing the previous peak in 2006. That's the top story in NAR's news video, The Voice for Real Estate, for the week of July 27. Other stories look at NAR's Call for Action against patent trolls, efforts to help home owners avoid fires when they live near wooded areas, and how you can access the webcast on the new closing rules.

Featured Segments:

  • The national median home price reached its highest level ever
  • Webcast available on closing process changes
  • More messages needed on patent troll Call for Action
  • NAR supporting efforts to curb destructive wildfires

Get more on all the topics covered in this video:

Voice for Real Estate 27: Transcript

Home Prices Peak

Stephen Gasque Voice Over: 

Realtors stepping up on patent trolls
A big push to curb fires in the drought-plagued West
And good news gets better on home sales
These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate
Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque with the National Association of Realtors.
More than 6 percent of Realtors have sent a letter to their member of Congress,
saying it’s time to curb abuses to our patent system. But more letters are
In less than a week, Realtors from all across the country sent 60,000 letters in
support of a bill, called the Innovation Act, that would make it harder for patent
trolls to demand money from you for simply using everyday technology. For
most associations in the United States, a 6 percent response rate is exceptional.
But for Realtors, it’s just a start. NAR Vice President Michael Ford, broker-owner
of Coldwell Banker Heritage Homes in West Memphis, Ark., explains why it’s so
important for Realtors to make their voices heard on this issue.
It’s not clear whether the bill will pass the House before lawmakers leave
Washington for the remainder of the summer, but Realtors are getting the
attention of Congress and will leave no doubt among lawmakers in the House—
and in the Senate, which could take up its own bill this year—that Realtors want
this costly drain on productive business to stop.
Severe drought in the west is leading to increased risk of fires, especially among
homes that sit on the edge of forests. The recent North Fire in Southern
California, which charred cars as it jumped the main highway between Los
Angeles and Las Vegas, is just one dramatic example of the risks to people and
property throughout the country by fire.
That’s why NAR is a strong supporter of legislation making its way through
Congress that would reduce the risk of devastating fires—in part by reducing
federal red tape. NAR’s Russell Riggs has more.
NAR has been a long-time supporter of healthy forests initiatives, because they
help homeowners enjoy their wooded properties in a smart and safe way. We’ll
keep you up to date as the healthy forests legislation moves through Congress.
More good news on home sales. Existing-home sales for June increased to their
highest pace in eight years and they’re now on track to reach 5.5 million this
year. And that’s not all. The national media home price just reached $236,400—
that’s higher than the previous home price peak in 2006 at the height of the
housing boom. What’s behind the gains? NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun
says it’s the improving economy.
NAR is releasing its pending home sales figures for June next week, and the
improving economy is likely to keep contract signings heading up as well.
Encouraging news from the federal agency that’s rewriting our nation’s closing
rules for home mortgage financing. Richard Cordray, the director of the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said last week that his agency won’t be
looking to penalize lenders for making mistakes when new rules and forms take
effect shortly. Instead, the agency wants to help lenders and others at the
closing table get the process right over the near term.
That’s something NAR has been encouraging the agency to do.
And to help you understand all the changes that are taking place, NAR last week
hosted an hour-long live webcast on the new forms and processes. National
closing expert Phil Schulman and NAR Senior Counsel Finley Maxson walked
Realtors through the changes and also answered your questions. If you missed
that, you can watch the recoded version of the webcast on Just
search “closing process webcast.”
And that’s our show for the week of July 27. You can get more on everything we
talked about today at The Voice for Real Estate page on Thank you
for joining us, and be sure to join us again as we bring you the latest news on The
Voice for Real Estate.
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