What You Need to Know
Twelve percent of REALTORS® are veterans or have a spouse or partner who is a veteran. NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith testified before Congress yesterday on removing barriers to veteran homeownership – and outlined the many ways REALTORS® help our nation’s heroes secure safe and sustainable housing.
Congress cleared a short-term funding extension on Dec. 2, avoiding a government shutdown. The measure keeps spending at current levels through Feb. 18 and extends authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program. Congress has yet to pass any of the 12 annual appropriations bills and will need to strike a longer-term spending deal next year.
Pending home sales jumped 7.5% in Oct., rebounding after a decline the month prior. According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, “The notable gain in October assures that total existing-home sales in 2021 will exceed 6 million, which will shape up to be the best performance in 15 years.”
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently unveiled 2022 loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. GSE loan limits rose by 18.05% to $647,200 nationally and $970,800 in high-cost markets. With home prices continuing to rise, NAR appreciates the FHFA resetting these conforming loan limits, which will continue to ensure liquidity for the home purchase market.
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.
When the Spokane City Council proposed eliminating consumer usage of natural gas within the city, the Spokane Association of REALTORS® formed a coalition, spent months lobbying, and conducted extensive polling with REALTOR® Party support. Their collective voice in a Call to Action grabbed the attention of the City Council, whose members took immediate action to remove the troubling language from their plan.
In late 2020, when housing advocates were warning of an impending tsunami of pandemic evictions, the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® prepared for the worst. Through members’ goodwill and REALTOR® Party resources, the association offered training scholarships to members willing to volunteer with local mediation programs. They also conducted a vigorous public-facing campaign to educate renters and landlords about the benefits of resolving rental disputes through mediation.
A new land use category proposed for the Scottsdale General Plan did not sit well with the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS®. It would create significant barriers to future development while threatening the rights of private property owners. Using a Land Use Initiative analysis from the REALTOR® Party, the association crafted a comment letter that helped dissuade the City Council from adopting the new category.
When the Long Island Board of REALTORS® (LIBOR) heard the town board in Riverhead, N.Y., planned to introduce changes to the town’s rental code that could violate residents’ civil rights, staff knew they had to act. Alerted to the changes by a local fair housing agency, LIBOR reached out to NAR for help. NAR connected LIBOR with an expert in fair housing law who helped the association craft a letter and provided talking points for a public hearing before the town board.
Resources & Opportunities
Transform a vacant lot to help create a more livable community. Break down barriers to housing and build a more inclusive neighborhood. Get unfavorable ordinances reviewed to protect property owners. Community outreach grants empower associations to create opportunities for a better life, community, and market. Watch our new Community Outreach video to learn more about these opportunities.
The new REALTOR® Candidate Training Academy for State and Local Office is now live and free for members. If you’ve ever considered running for elected office or want to learn more about campaigns, this free, interactive course is for you. Topics covered include preparing to run, developing your message, becoming a successful fundraiser, tactics for communicating your message, and becoming a better public speaker.
One of the major factors in determining the safety and value of both residential and commercial property is the presence of on-site water wells and septic or wastewater systems. A new report created by the Legislative Research Center on behalf of NAR explores the advantages and disadvantages of public or city water versus on-site water systems and examines the various types of on-site well and wastewater systems.
Would you like to have the community outreach team present virtually at one of your upcoming association meetings? You and your leadership can learn ways to address affordable housing challenges, community planning and development issues, revitalization opportunities, and fair housing initiatives using a Housing Opportunity, Smart Growth, Placemaking, Rural Outreach, or Fair Housing grant.
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.