With Congress out of session in August, REALTORS® are meeting with their elected officials at home to share what we’ve accomplished and what needs to be done to advance residential and commercial real estate. Read more about our advocacy successes so far and our priorities for the rest of the year.
What You Need to Know
The White House released 2 announcements in late July outlining actions – but no new mandatory policy changes – to boost the housing supply and offer guidance for multifamily properties. NAR supports the Administration’s efforts to increase the affordable housing supply and will keep working to ensure mom-and-pop housing providers continue to play a critical role in communities across the country.
When a homeowners association in north Texas enacted a rule barring property owners from renting to Section 8 tenants, which threatened to displace more than 170 families, Texas REALTORS® strongly opposed the discriminatory policy and helped secure victory for a state law outlawing the practice.
Pending home sales rose 0.3% in June, marking the first increase in four months. “The recovery has not taken place, but the housing recession is over,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. NAR expects existing-home sales to decrease 12.9% from 2022 to 2023, settling at 4.38 million, before climbing 15.5% to 5.06 million in 2024.
International buyers purchased $53.3 billion worth of U.S. residential properties from April 2022 to March 2023, down 9.6% from the previous year. The 84,600 existing homes sold – the lowest since NAR began tracking in 2009 – retreated 14.2% from the prior year.
As of July 31, RPAC fundraising reached 69% of its national goal with more than $35 million raised at all three levels of the association, and 97% of its federal disbursements allocation goal with $9.9 million raised at the national level. RPAC currently has 7,380 Major Investors, 1,822 President’s Circle members, and a 32% participation rate.
The REALTOR® Party At Work
Don’t forget to bookmark NAR’s Washington Report for the latest policy updates.
In Northeast Ohio, about two dozen municipalities require point-of-sale inspections for every property transfer. The associated costs can put otherwise affordable housing purchases beyond the reach of would-be homeowners while also dampening the market for sellers. With help from the REALTOR® Party’s Consumer Advocacy Outreach Grants, the Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS® is working to roll back these barriers to homeownership.
Land of the Sky Association of REALTORS® Boosts Landlord Acceptance of Federal Rental Assistance Vouchers
More than 100 federal rental assistance vouchers that were available in western North Carolina’s Buncombe County went unused in January 2023 – not for lack of need, but for lack of landlords willing to accept vouchers. Land of the Sky Association of REALTORS® secured a Housing Opportunity Grant from the REALTOR® Party that helped them become a key stakeholder in an alliance of nonprofits that advocate for vulnerable populations.
The taxation rate in the county that is home to Portland, Oregon, is the second highest in the nation. When a variable 0.75% capital gains tax was placed on the ballot, the Portland Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (PMAR), in partnership with the neighboring East Metro Association of REALTORS®, led a broad coalition to oppose the tax. Their campaign, supported by an Issues Mobilization Grant from the REALTOR® Party, helped ensure the tax’s overwhelming defeat.
Washington State ranks dead-last in the number of home units – owned and rented – per family. However, in an exceptionally successful legislative session earlier this year, the Washington REALTORS® promoted a raft of bills to make it easier to build housing, particularly affordable housing. They also fended off an attempt to increase the state real estate excise tax, which would have added to the cost of owning a home. Issues Mobilization Grants from the REALTOR® Party supported these efforts.
Resources & Opportunities
In today’s rapidly changing urban landscape, neighborhoods face challenges like housing shortages, affordability concerns, disinvestment, and post-disaster recovery. Register for this session on August 22 from 1-2 pm CT to explore how the Transforming Neighborhoods Program empowers local REALTOR® associations to lead on innovative solutions using expert assessments and the power of real estate
Join us for the premiere of Planning & Zoning Resource: Advocating for your Community’s Future on September 19 from 11 am to 6 pm ET. You’ll learn the basic components and processes of the planning and zoning phases of real estate development and how these phases can lead us to a better way of developing communities, including smart growth and boosting housing supply. Register online before August 24 for a $79 early-bird rate.
Questions? Contact Hugh Morris at 202-383-1278.
Interested in addressing such challenges as commercial disinvestment, housing gaps, brownfield reuse, and natural disaster response? NAR’s Transforming Neighborhoods Program, in partnership with the Counselors of Real Estate® Consulting Corps, can help! Learn how the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS® jumpstarted neighborhood revitalization and the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® helped craft a vision for the city’s Meridian Corridor.
The response for Community Outreach Grants has been overwhelming, with a 77% rise in applications over the last year! The program recently reached its maximum budget capacity for Fair Housing, Housing Opportunity, Smart Growth, Placemaking, and Rural Outreach grants. Applications for the next round of funding will open on January 2, 2024.
The Vote, Act, Invest Advocacy Resource Guide 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.
You talk to strangers, walk into vacant buildings, put your face on a bench, and share your contact information. Your job requires you to break some of the basic safety rules, but you can stay safe. NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program provides you with information and best practices that will keep you prepared and protected.
Cultivating relationships is the key to connecting with potential clients and helping your neighbors fulfill their dream of homeownership. Giving back is part of the business of being a good neighbor. Share your volunteer story about how your charitable acts, large or small, have strengthened your community!