Voice for Real Estate 51: Sales Peak, Money Laundering, Rural Loans

Home sales might have peaked, NAR says. That's a top story in The Voice for Real Estate for the week of August 1. Other stories look at NAR's big win on condo loans now that President Obama has signed H.R. 3700 into law, the looming deadline for Sec. 502 direct rural housing loans from the federal government, which are about to run out of money. Other stories look at the impact residential loan rules from 2010 are having on commercial loan processing, the Treasury's expansion of its money laundering program involving real estate, and NAR's win as the CFPB tells lenders and settlement agents it's OK for them to share the closing document with agents.

Featured segments

  • Condo win
  • Home sales
  • Rural home loans
  • Money laundering
  • Commercial finance rules
  • Closing disclosure


Condo Financing will be easier to get as President Obama signs an NAR-backed bill into law

Have home sales peaked for the year?

And—time is running out for buyers hoping to get federally funded rural home loans

These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate

Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque with the National Association of Realtors.

It was a big effort that took several years—but now it’s done. Thanks to you, FHA condominium financing will be easier to get because President Obama has signed H.R. 3700 into law. The bill reduces owner-occupancy requirements, allows more commercial space in buildings, and makes it easier for condo boards to get their properties certified for FHA financing. Here’s NAR President Tom Salomone on the outpouring of support that made the bill happen.


In both the House and the Senate, passage was unanimous. That’s because few issues attract bipartisan support in Congress like real estate and home ownership.


Have home sales hit their peak for the year?  In June, home sales rose just over 1 percent to a strong 5.57 million sales pace, but NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says it might be downhill from here. That’s because continued inventory shortages and rising home prices in many parts of the country could start to make buying too hard for many households.


We’re already seeing signs of the tough road ahead. NAR’s June pending home sales data, which points to future sales, barely rose in June.  We’ll be watching July indicators to see if sales are in fact slowing down.


Do you have clients hoping to buy a home using a direct loan from the federal Rural Housing Service? If you do, you might want to suggest they apply sooner rather than later, because the Rural Housing Service’s program for making direct loans, known as the Sec. 502 direct loan program, is likely to run out of money by the middle of August. If it does, it’ll be another month and a half before the next fiscal year starts and the agency gets new money for lending. NAR’s Sehar Siddiqi has more.


If your clients want to move quickly, they can get information on their state Rural Development office by searching “state offices” at USDA.gov.


The 2010 banking reform law to stem the mortgage crisis has had a huge impact on residential real estate. Just think of the new closing rules, known as TRID or Know before You Owe, and the qualified mortgage rules. Both of those stem from the reform law and they both have had an enormous impact on the process of originating loans for buyers. Well, those rules are starting to affect commercial real estate loan processing as well. Rod Alba, senior vice president at the American Bankers Association, sat down with NAR staff to explain how new residential rules are spilling over into the commercial sector.


Alba says commercial loan processing is becoming less flexible as a result of the rules. And that can affect how quickly your commercial clients get financing. Watch our full interview with Alba on nar.realtor.


Money laundering isn’t something you typically associate with real estate, but since the beginning of this year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has been operating a program that requires title agents to report on high-end, all-cash real estate transactions in parts of New York City and the Miami area. Well, the federal government has just announced its adding more metropolitan areas to the program, and it’s also expanding what the department considers an all-cash transaction.

The operation mainly affects title agents, but real estate professionals need to understand what’s happening because the program might impact some of your transactions. NAR’s Lesley Walker has more.


At nar.realtor, NAR has a full page of resources for you on the federal government’s effort to identify money laundering in real estate.


And that’s our show for the week of August 1. You can get more on 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 all the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.

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