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Voice for Real Estate 68: Hill Visits, BOD Decisions

May 31, 2017

More than 9,000 REALTORS® came to Washington to lobby their members of Congress to protect tax incentives for real estate. Also, NAR's Board of Directors made decisions to help real estate going forward. And home sales slowed but days-on-market picked up to its fastest level ever.

Featured Segments

  • Hill Visits
  • BOD Descriptions
  • Home Sales

Transcript

Congress hears from REALTORS® on tax reform

NAR’s board wants to curb rent control

And homes are selling faster than ever

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

More than 9,000 REALTORS® traveled to Washington in May to meet with their members of Congress. Their message: tax reform must not place an unfair burden on our nation’s homeowners.

[QUOTE]

REALTORS® favor tax reform, especially changes that will ease the burden on small businesses. But they raised a red flag when the Trump administration released a plan that would do away with many of the deductions homeowners take, including real estate taxes and other state and local taxes. Even if owners can still deduct mortgage interest, the loss of those other deductions, in combination with other changes under consideration, would lead to a more than 800-dollar increase in taxes on average for middle-income homeowners, who earn between $50,000 and $200,000 a year.

[QUOTE]

In hundreds of meetings with lawmakers, REALTORS® were armed with research commissioned by NAR that found home prices would drop by an average 10.3 percent across the nation if the Administration’s plan were to take effect. That reform proposal would consolidate individual tax brackets from five to three, lower rates, double the standard deduction, and eliminate all itemized deductions except those for mortgage interest and charitable giving.

Homeowners would end up losing almost one trillion dollars in tax savings, a drop of more than 80 percent.

NAR’s position is: That’s an unfair burden to place on our nation’s homeowners, who already pay more than 80 percent of all personal income taxes in the United States.

You can access all of the research findings by searching “impact of tax reform options” on nar.realtor.

[SWOOSH]

The Capitol Hill visits by REALTORS® were just part of the action in Washington during the NAR’s legislative meetings. There were hundreds of education classes, committee sessions, and forums over the course of the week.

And at its meeting capping off the event, NAR’s board of directors voted on new policy positions in support of the nation’s REALTORS®.

First, the board voted to reaffirm NAR’s commitment to maintaining a federal guarantee for conventional mortgage financing. NAR also will continue to advocate for making loans receiving federal guarantees assumable. That would protect homebuyers, including move-up buyers, from seeing their buying power eroded by rising interest rates.

Other positions the board voted on:

  • Opposing the rise in rent control measures by state and local governments
  • Maintaining its support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which helps combat fraud and abuse in the lending
  • industry. But NAR also wants the agency to be overseen by a five-person commission rather than a single director.
  • And removing federally backed reverse mortgages from the way FHA calculates the amount of reserves it maintains in its
  • main insurance fund.

[SWOOSH]

A minor pause in home sales last month.

NAR’s existing-home sales figures for April declined by about 2 percent to a 5.57 million sales pace. That’s still one of the highest levels over the last 12 months, and there’s no sign of any let-up in demand. In fact, the number of days the typical listing is on the market has fallen from 34 days to 29 days. That’s the first time that days-on-market fell below a month. Dannielle Hale, NAR’s managing director of housing research, has more.

[QUOTE]

We’ll have more on how home sales are doing across the country next week when NAR releases its forward-looking pending home sales index.

[SWOOSH]

Before we leave you, a special thank-you to the thousands of REALTORS® who traveled to Washington this month. You’re doing important work when you take time out from your business to make your voice heard at our nation’s Capitol.

And that’s our show for the week of May 29. You can get more on everything we talked about at the Voice for Real Estate page on nar.realtor. Thank you for joining us. And we hope to see you again next time, as we bring you all the latest news, on the Voice for Real Estate!