June is Homeownership Month, and NAR is working closely with the Biden administration, Congress, state and local leaders, and industry partners on increasing homeownership opportunities in America. Read more about how you can get involved in helping more people achieve this cornerstone of the American Dream.
What You Need to Know
Homeownership is the largest source of wealth among families, with the median value of a primary residence worth about 10 times the median value of families’ financial assets. Over the past decade, a homeowner who purchased a single-family existing home would have gained more than $229,000 in home equity if the home were sold at the median sales price in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Nearly 75% of Americans say that owning a home is a more significant measure of achievement than having a successful career or even raising a family, according to a survey from Bankrate.com of about 2,500 adults. Homeownership topped being able to retire (66%), having a successful career (60%), owning an automobile (50%), having children (40%), and earning a college degree (35%).
Pending home sales fell 3.9% in April, as contract activity decreased for the sixth consecutive month. Only the Midwest region saw signings increase month-over-month, while the other three major regions reported declines. Each of the four regions registered a drop in year-over-year contract activity.
NAR recently provided input on HUD’s proposal to allow the FHA to modify mortgages of distressed homeowners to terms up to 40 years. A standard for determining a borrower’s ability to repay must be flexible to accommodate borrowers with unique circumstances. Modifying mortgages to a monthly payment homeowners can meet with a moderately longer amortization helps support both homeownership and market stability.
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.
With support from a Housing Opportunity Grant, the West Georgia Board of REALTORS® partnered with a local HUD-certified housing counseling agency to offer a Pathways to Homeownership course for first-time buyers. The program covered essential aspects of the home-buying process and was so well received that the association is making it an annual event.
Michigan REALTORS® are finally seeing their advocacy efforts pay off with the recent passage of legislation to assist first-time homebuyers through two new long-term savings programs: tax-free savings accounts and income tax deductions on down payment savings. From the initial concept to the final signature, Michigan REALTORS® saw the effort through with strong support from the REALTOR® Party, including a campaign supported by an Issues Mobilization Grant.
Lakeway Area Association of REALTORS® Helps Tennessee’s Jefferson County Resist Moratorium on New Development
When the Planning Commission of Jefferson County in eastern Tennessee attempted to impose a moratorium on new developments, the Lakeway Area Association of REALTORS® rallied the public to oppose it. With an Issues Mobilization Grant and help from the Advocacy Everywhere program, the association’s efforts led the commissioners to narrowly reject the moratorium, which would have increased the price of housing and hurt the construction and trade industries.
Six REALTOR® Associations Serving L.A. County Highlight Recent Legislation with Campaign Promoting “Housing Reimagined”
A Consumer Advocacy Grant from the REALTOR® Party helped the South Bay Association of REALTORS®, the Pasadena-Foothills Association of REALTORS®, the Glendale Association of REALTORS®, the Greater L.A. Association of REALTORS®, the Greater Antelope Valley Association of REALTORS®, and the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® educate consumers and counter misinformation on two new laws that boost homeowners’ rights, exemptions, and market feasibility.
The MIBOR REALTOR® Association secured a Placemaking Grant to help community groups transform unused space in Shelbyville, Ind., into a linear park. Porter Park will be a beautiful gateway to the west side of the Shelby County trail system, encouraging users to continue along the path where the city is adding more mileage and providing an opportunity to learn local history along the way.
Resources & Opportunities
Organize a summit on policy solutions, retain a consultant to conduct a housing needs study, host a meeting with business and community leaders, or hold a homebuyer education session. Housing Opportunity Grants support a wide range of initiatives to raise awareness and increase the availability of affordable housing options. Read REALTOR® Party Success Stories (search “Housing Opportunity”) or the Housing Opportunity Toolkit to learn more.
You’re an advocate for change, and NAR’s Community Outreach Grants provide the resources to move your association’s agenda forward. Five grants with various levels of funding help associations take action on the issues that matter most. Watch the Community Outreach video to learn how these grants and resources help build stronger communities.
Gain political capital, increase your influence, and enhance the REALTOR® image when you collaborate with local leaders on a Placemaking project such as a community garden, playground, parklet, or dog park. The REALTOR® Party provides Placemaking grants and a range of additional resources, including a toolkit and technical assistance.
In the latest episode of REALTOR Magazine’s popular podcast, Drive With NAR, REALTORS® Bethany Nolan and Blair Myers discuss their experiences with first-time homebuyers in East Texas and Atlanta, what the latest generation of homebuyers wants, and whether the traditional American Dream still exists.