June is Homeownership Month, when we celebrate the cornerstone of the American Dream. REALTORS® strive to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to achieve homeownership, but prospective buyers are facing more barriers now than ever before. From testifying before Congress to joining forces with our industry partners, NAR is committed to putting homeownership in reach for more people.
What You Need to Know
NAR President Kenny Parcell makes the case for why buying a house is the best investment in the latest issue of Kiplinger. “The median value of homes owned by lower-income Americans climbed 75% over the past decade – a gain of roughly $100,000,” he writes. “Middle-income homeowners saw their properties appreciate 68% over the same period, equivalent to a wealth increase of $122,000. Today, home equity is the largest financial asset for American households in the middle three quintiles of the income distribution, accounting for 50 to 70% of this group’s total net worth.”
The U.S. housing market is missing more than 300,000 home listings valued up to $256,000, the affordable price range for middle-income buyers or households earning up to $75,000, according to a new analysis from NAR and Realtor.com®. Middle-income buyers can afford to buy less than a quarter of listings in the current market; five years ago, this income group could afford to buy half of all available homes.
On May 17, NAR President Kenny Parcell testified before a U.S. House panel about the FHFA’s new loan level pricing adjustments (LLPA) fee increase on borrowers with fair to good credit profiles. He stressed that the fees are unnecessary and confusing, especially when potential home buyers already face a lack of affordability and supply. He also praised FHFA’s recent announcement rescinding a proposed LLPA fee on borrowers with debt-to-income ratios greater than 40%.
NAR applauds the Supreme Court for 2 recent rulings that further protect the rights of property owners. Tyler v. Hennepin County, which NAR outwardly supported, confirms the equity homeowners build in their properties is a constitutionally protected right and cannot be unduly or unfairly seized by the government. The Sackett v. EPA ruling brings more clarity to the rules and regulations on building on personal land under the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This decision will directly impact ongoing litigation that NAR is part of related to an EPA rule defining Waters of the United States (WOTUS) under the CWA.
As of May 31, RPAC reached 59% of its national fundraising goal with $29.6 million raised at all three levels of the association, and 82% of its federal disbursements allocation goal with more than $8 million raised at the national level. RPAC currently has more than 5,800 Major Investors, 1,617 President’s Circle members, and a 30% participation rate.
The REALTOR® Party At Work
Don’t forget to bookmark NAR’s Washington Report for the latest policy updates.
REALTORS® Association of South Central Wisconsin Advocates for Zoning Changes to Increase Housing Density Near Transit in State Capital
In 2020, Madison, Wis. adopted an ambitious plan called Housing Forward to remove barriers to affordable housing and housing choice. The REALTORS® Association of South Central Wisconsin has systematically supported the new ordinances associated with Housing Forward and recently faced down a serious challenge to transit-oriented development. REALTOR® Party resources, including Issues Mobilization, helped them foster support for this effort – and for all the goals and strategies of the housing plan.
Barely half of the households in California’s capital city own their homes. To help the community’s prospective buyers get started on the path to homeownership, the Sacramento Association of REALTORS® held a first-time homebuyers expo, connecting more than 200 visitors to information and resources. A Housing Opportunity Grant from the REALTOR® Party helped make it possible.
For years, the Seattle King County Association of REALTORS® has been working to help increase inventory, with a focus on lowering barriers to developing affordable options. With a Housing Opportunity Grant and two buses full of elected officials, planning staff, and local housing professionals, the REALTORS® led a tour of a dozen innovative affordable housing sites, demonstrating that thoughtful density is not only possible – it already exists.
Resources & Opportunities
Legislative and regulatory proposals that may do harm to property rights often arise quickly and require expert analysis. The Land Use Initiative will analyze proposed planning and zoning-related measures that impact the transfer of real property to help state and local associations advocate on behalf of members. Learn how the Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS® defeated detrimental zoning proposals using this and other REALTOR® Party resources.
Due to high demand for Community Outreach Grants, we’ve reached maximum capacity for 2023. The application window is now closed and will reopen on January 2, 2024. We’re grateful for the immense interest in these grants, and we understand their significance to associations and their community development and fair housing-related efforts. We strongly encourage all associations to sign up for a Community Outreach Planning Session to discuss innovative ways to use these grants and maximize their benefits in 2024. NAR is here to provide support throughout the process.
Learn how to finance the preservation of historic buildings, develop downtown revitalization strategies, encourage adaptive reuse, and rebuild stronger, more vibrant neighborhoods. An online version is available via the OCG APP (Apple) (Google Play). Over 35,000 copies will be distributed to state and local associations and elected officials.
The Advocacy Resource Guide – Vote, Act, and Invest, REALTOR® Party – includes resources and tools that can help associations reach their advocacy goals and meet Core Standards requirements. State and local REALTOR® association staff can request printed copies for events and conferences by contacting Ted Wright. Requests for printed guides must be submitted two weeks prior to the event.
Make plans to attend the 2023 Sustainability Summit, September 12-13, in Austin, Texas. This event is designed exclusively for real estate professionals at the forefront of sustainable practices to discover the latest developments and acquire practical concepts. Save $50 with early bird pricing!
Join industry experts for June’s Broker Power Hour on Wednesday, June 21 at 12 pm CT. This live webinar will provide you with industry knowledge and effective strategies to successfully navigate risk management and legal compliance. Proactively protect your business by registering today!