The Voice for Real Estate 33: G-fees, Condo Loans

Condos are one of the best ways for first-time home buyers to get into real estate, yet financing for this type of housing remains hard to get. NAR President Chris Polychron, in testimony before Congress, shared three ways FHA can make financing easier to get without compromising on financial safety. Other stories in The Voice for Real Estate for the week of Oct. 26, 2015: REALTORS® have generated tens of thousands of letters to Congress to keep the guaranty fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in real estate rather than used to cover other federal programs; home sales post a strong comeback and are now on pace for more than 5.5 million units this year; and NAR's annual Housing Pulse survey shows Americans continue to view home ownership in overwhelmingly positive terms.

Featured segments:

  • Why g-fees must stay in real estate
  • How to make condo loans easier to get
  • Home sales on 5.5-milion pace
  • 85% says owning is good investment

Get more on all the topics covered in this video:

Voice for Real Estate 33: Transcript

G-fees, Condo Loans

Stephen Gasque: 

Realtors mobilize to stop a “back-door” tax on real estate
NAR tells Congress: make condo financing easier to get
And home sales are back on a growth track
These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate
Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque of the National Association of Realtors.
Realtors in every part of thh country are telling their members of Congress it’s a bad
idea to take money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help pay for a massive bill
that has nothing to do with housing.
Legislation working its way through Congress would take so-called g-fees—these
are fees Fannie and Freddie collect to help offset their mortgage guarantee risks—
and use them to help pay a 46 billion dollar transportation bill.
Not only does it set a bad precedence to use money from real estate for an unrelated
purpose, but it could cause home sales to slow down by making it harder for lowerincome
households and first-time home buyers to get the financing they need.
President Chris Polychron stopped by NAR’s Washington studios last week to
explain why.
[QUOTE]
Already thousands of Realtors have taken just a few minutes to send a letter to their
members of Congress. But more letters are needed. If you haven’t yet taken action, it
takes just one click at RealtorActionCenter.com.
[SWOOSH]
One of the best ways for households to become first-time home buyers is to make
that first purchase a condominium. But tough rules, in both the conventional and the
FHA market, has made it challenging to get financing. That’s why NAR for the last
three years has been pushing FHA to revise requirements on owner-occupancy,
commercial space, and condo board certifications so they’re more in line with
market realities.
That’s the message NAR President Polychron took to the House of Representatives
last week, when he went before the Financial Services Committee to testify.
[QUOTE]
The good news: Sixty members of the House of Representatives from both sides of
the aisle have sponsored a bill, The “Housing Opportunities through Modernization
Act,” that would make the reforms NAR seeks. And more members continue to sign
on as cosponsors.
[SWOOSH]
There’s good news in the market. Existing-home sales for September increased
solidly from the previous month and they continue to be well over where they were
a year ago. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explains what’s happening in his
monthly press conference last week.
[QUOTE]
Next week NAR will be releasing its forward-looking pending home sales index, and
we’ll be sure to report to you what that closely watched indicator is telling us.
[SWOOSH]
Americans have long viewed home ownership as an integral part of the American
Dream, and they continue to find it a smart investment, too.
The 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey, which NAR conducts each year with
independent researchers, shows 80 percent of Americans continue to think buying a
home is a good financial decision, and almost 70 percent think now is a good time to
buy. NAR’s ccccccc has more.
[QUOTE]
In another finding, almost two-thirds of renters say owning a home is one of their
most important personal priorities. That’s up 11 percentage points ftom2013.
[SWOOSH]
And that’s our show for the week of October 26. You can get everything we talked
about today at The Voice for Real Estate page on nar.realtor. Thank you for joining
us, and be sure to join us again as we bring you the latest news from The Voice for
Real Estate.

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