REALTOR® Party News

REALTOR Party News – May 2021

NAR Continues Fight for Housing Providers

The 2021 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is being held virtually for the second straight year, and NAR members are hard at work advancing issues that matter most to the real estate industry. Through virtual Capitol Hill visits, special issues forums, and committee meetings, NAR’s federal advocacy team is using the opportunity to promote NAR’s four policy priorities for 2021: improving access to homeownership; enabling a quick economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic; ensuring fair housing for all; and building strong and resilient communities and businesses.
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By the Numbers

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NAR is calling for applicants for its new mentorship initiative in nine pilot regions across the U.S. NAR Spire is designed to drive inclusivity in real estate, matching REALTORS® with mentees from historically marginalized communities. NAR hopes the program will eliminate barriers that have denied opportunities to homeownership and kept people out of the real estate industry.
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15

New home sales reached a 15-year high in March. NAR’s repeated calls for more home construction are being echoed as buyers across the country continue to show a voracious appetite for homeownership. Sales of new single-family homes surged 20.7% from February to March, the highest pace since September 2006, while construction jumped 41% year-over-year from last March.
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21%

Americans’ personal savings increased to a 21% annual rate last quarter, the second-highest level ever recorded. Stimulus payments and decreased spending leave many Americans who have retained employment throughout the pandemic sitting on a considerable nest egg. Experts expect further economic growth after the U.S. recorded a 6.4% annual GDP gain in the first quarter of 2021.
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38%

NAR has worked extensively with policymakers over the past year in defense of housing providers, as roughly 38% of REALTORS® own rental property. Those efforts on behalf of both tenants and housing providers continue as legal challenges persist. But with the economy steadily recovering, broad eviction moratoriums no longer serve the very necessary purpose they once did.
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The REALTOR® Party At Work

Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are cataloged in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.

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Greater Lakes Association Supports Housing Study that Leads to a Housing Trust Fund

Facing a dire lack of affordable workforce housing, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, decided to create a county-wide Housing Trust Fund to address some of its most pressing housing needs. County Commissioner Bill Brekken, who is also a REALTOR®, credits leadership of the Greater Lakes Association of REALTORS® for making the Housing Trust Fund a reality. Brekken notes that while it might seem unusual for REALTORS® to support a property tax levy, the residents of Crow Wing County have historically shown support for taxes that stay within their community, which is exactly what the Housing Trust Fund will do.
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Utah Association of REALTORS® Backs Bill to Simplify Permitting for Accessory Dwelling Units Throughout the State

The Utah Association of REALTORS® is taking an incremental approach to addressing the state’s growing housing affordability needs. More than a dozen potential solutions were proposed in Utah’s 2019 REALTOR®-supported Affordable Housing Modifications legislation, including an initiative intended to help homeowners rent out internal Accessory Dwelling Units. Frustrated with the lack of progress, the association capitalized on an Issues Mobilization Grant from the REALTOR® Party to help secure legislation that effectively eliminates red tape in Utah. With a separate Issues Mobilization Grant, the state association also launched a campaign touting ADUs as “A Free-Market Solution to Utah’s Housing Shortage.”
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REALTOR® Party Smart Growth Grant for Better Block Event Leads to Five-Year Span of Investment from the City of South Bend

The South Bend Area REALTORS® took a Smart Growth Grant it received way back in 2014 to fund a “Better Block” project along a run-down stretch of the city in Northern Indiana. At the time, the event was viewed as an overwhelming success, offering REALTORS® and residents alike hope for neighborhood’s future. What the community did not anticipate was that the project would generate millions of dollars in real estate investments over the following five years, funds that have been used to rejuvenate eleven blocks of the city’s commercial corridor and significantly uplift its surrounding neighborhoods.
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Resources & Opportunities

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Grants Address Broadband, Zoning and More

A new Rural Outreach Grant to fund advocacy initiatives related to broadband, open space preservation, infrastructure challenges, and more is now available. Associations can explore a newly revised Rural Outreach site for detailed information on rural issues while selecting a time to meet virtually with staff to evaluate strategies to address challenges unique to rural communities.
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Placemaking Grants Helping REALTORS® Rebuild, Refresh Communities

NAR’s Placemaking Grants are available to help REALTOR® associations improve their communities by building and maintaining new plazas, dog parks, trails, and more. Since 2014, over $1.2 million in funding has been distributed across 400 communities. If you have an unused or underutilized site in your community, maybe it’s time to transform it into a destination for your local residents.
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The Path to Scaling a PropTech Startup

The latest “Proptech with NAR” video series discusses some of the data challenges PropTech startups face when trying to scale. In this discussion, NAR Directors of Emerging Technology Dave Conroy and Dan Weisman discuss with their guests how cloud service providers can help address these common issues.
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Engage Your Community. Build Coalitions. Advocate for Housing Affordability.

With home prices expected to continue rising in 2021 and 2022, NAR’s Housing Affordability Toolkit continues to provide valuable resources to help REALTORS® and state and local REALTOR® Associations address affordability challenges in the communities they serve. The toolkit is based on the successes of other associations and offers practical tips and examples for a range of activities, including housing fairs, buyer education classes, housing forums and more.
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The Search is Over! Be Found with a Top-level Domain

Set yourself apart and set your business up for exponential growth with a .realtor™ or .realestate domain that separates you from the pack and clearly positions your brand as a cut above the competition. Claim your name and up your game today at get.realtor!
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Interactive REALTOR® Party Resource Guide

Get the latest updates and information on advocacy grants, programs, resources, and educational opportunities with the Interactive REALTOR® Party Resource Guide. A new design, dynamic search functions, and integrated Realtor Party Tracker data offer a complete view of the REALTOR® Party at work in communities nationwide. Bookmark this invaluable online resource today.
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