NAR Introduces the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness

The National Association of Realtors® is proud to introduce the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness, a new resource designed exclusively to meet the specific financial planning needs of Realtors® – members of the National Association of Realtors®. This comprehensive program includes education materials and resources for wealth building, business planning and investing in real estate.

Nearly nine out of 10 Realtors® are independent contractors and can face complex situations when it comes to personal finances. Unique attributes such as fluctuating incomes, tax issues, and lack of salary cap require a different perspective.

“The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness has something to offer all NAR members no matter their level of professional expertise or stage of financial planning. Members can get started by taking an online assessment, which will generate a set of personalized financial planning goals based on where they are today,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “It’s a priority for me and the association to ensure our members have the financial tools and resources they need to succeed in business and in life.”

Realtors® can visit www.FinancialWellness.realtor to assess their current financial profile, receive personalized financial planning goals, practice financial planning decisions in a risk-free way, and explore a robust library of budgeting, retiring, and real estate investing resources.

Proposed Bylaws Changes

It is that time of year again to review and update our Bylaws for the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®. Read the proposed bylaws changes (that includes each change rationale):
2019 Proposed Bylaws Changes

Please contact Jessica Hickok with any questions or concerns at jmh@okrealtors.com.

We will be voting on this at our annual membership meeting, that will be immediately following the board of directors on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Hotel Downtown OKC located at 1 North Broadway Avenue in Oklahoma City.

SLA Update: Runoffs on Aug. 28

The Aug. 28 runoff elections will decide the final slate of candidates for the Nov. 6 general election. Runoffs are scheduled on the Republican side for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor and inspector, state superintendent of education and labor commissioner as well as the Democratic seat on the Corporate Commission and the Libertarian nominee for governor.

On July 31, GOP Attorney General candidates Gentner Drummond and Mike Hunter debated state issues such as auditing the state government, the testing of rape kits, firearms, SQ 788, immigration, opioids and more. Watch the debate here: http://bit.ly/2nt1XXK

Just three weeks before the runoffs, Republican gubernatorial candidates Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt faced one another in a debate on Aug. 7. Candidates debated the direction of our state, educational funding, medical marijuana, constitutional carry and answered questions for the audience. Watch the debate here: http://bit.ly/2ntfChS

2019 Slate of Officers & Directors

The 2019 Slate of Officers & Directors is now available:
2019 Slate of Officers & Directors

Please contact Jessica Hickok with any questions or concerns at jmh@okrealtors.com.

Please join us for the election at our Annual Membership Meeting, immediately following the Board of Directors Meeting, held on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
Location: Sheraton Hotel Downtown OKC (1 N Broadway Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102)

Instant Reaction: July Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the employment situation in July:

The economy is rolling along and jobs are being created. Though the latest monthly net new job gains of 157,000 is a bit light compared to recent past months, the one-year total is still very solid at 2.4 million. Wages are picking up at 2.7% and housing demand will therefore continue to accumulate. What has been missing in many markets has been housing supply, partly due to acute shortage of construction workers. It is welcoming to see the construction industry boosting wages at swifter rate of 3.5%. This financial incentive is no doubt helping to draw more workers into construction as evidenced by 4.4% job growth rate in construction compared to 1.6% growth rate in all jobs. With housing supply to steadily rise, the broad housing market will be in a healthier balanced state in the future.

SLA Update: SQ 788 & Runoff Elections

The working group assigned to implement SQ 788 held its first public meeting at the State Capitol on Wednesday, July 25. Presentations were given by Green the Vote, Oklahomans for Cannabis, New Health Solutions and Chip Paul, SQ 788 author, on behalf of Oklahomans for Health.

The following lawmakers have been named to the group:

  • Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada, co-chair
  • Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle
  • Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher
  • Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville
  • Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City
  • Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, co-chair
  • Rep. Dustin Roberts, R-Durant
  • Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee
  • Rep. Josh West, R-Grove
  • Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa
  • Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs
  • Rep. Ben Loring, D-Miami
  • Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman

Reminder: Multiple races in the June 26 primary are headed to runoff elections August 28. Get involved with the discussion by contacting your legislator today!

Hope to see you at the 2018 Brokers Summit on August 15https://bit.ly/2AgnxYY

Opt-in to receive updates via text message by texting “OklahomaSLA” to 95577.

Realtors® statement on House vote to extend flood insurance

National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall released the following statement after the U.S. House vote on legislation extending flood insurance funding:

“Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Without an extension of authority, the National Flood Insurance Program cannot write or renew flood insurance in 22,000 communities nationwide. The bill passed by the House today ensures the program remains available to those Americans who rely upon it, while enabling Congress to continue working toward a long-term reauthorization and reform measure. We urge the Senate to take swift action on this bill before the program expires on July 31.”

Existing-Home Sales Subside 0.6 Percent in June

Existing-home sales decreased for the third straight month in June, falling 0.6 percent to 5.38 million sales as declines in the South and West exceeded sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The ongoing supply and demand imbalance helped push June’s median sales price to a new all-time high at $276,900.

“There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining,” he said. “The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market. What is for sale in most areas is going under contract very fast and in many cases, has multiple offers. This dynamic is keeping home price growth elevated, pricing out would-be buyers and ultimately slowing sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

SLA Update: Defining Your Role

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) is proud to have developed a strong, positive relationship with members of the legislature. Our State Legislative Advocates (SLA) enhance this connection by building our member’s personal relationship with their own state legislators. Outside the legislative session, OAR will send bi-weekly updates with insights, political notes and information specifically for our SLA’s so you can stay in the know about OAR’s advocacy for Oklahoma REALTORS®. During session, we will send weekly updates.

On the legislative front, there were 117 primaries for State House and State Senate. In those races, six incumbents lost re-election bids — Sen. Ervin Yen, Rep. Chuck Strohm, Rep. Scott McEachin, Rep. Steve Vaughan, Rep. Greg Babinec and Rep. Scooter Park. While 83 of those primaries led to a nominee, there will be 34 runoff elections in August (26 Republican and eight Democratic) including 10 House Republican incumbents:

Travis Dunlap
Tess Teague
George Faught
Bobby Cleveland
Mark Lawson
Sean Roberts
John Pfeiffer
Jeff Coody
Jadine Nollan
Mike Ritze

Additionally, when the dust settled, incumbent Rep. Kevin McDugle had a three-vote advantage over his Republican challenger, but the district had 10 provision ballots cast that will be examined and counted on Friday. Six races were decided and have no general election, including three new legislators:

Representative-elect Derrell Fincher (R – Bartlesville) will replace Earl Sears
Representative-elect Ken Luttrell (R – Ponca City) will replace Steve Vaughan
Representative-elect Mark VanCuren (REALTOR®) (R – Owasso) will replace Dale Derby
Rep. Harold Wright (R – Weatherford) won re-election
Rep. Rhonda Baker (R – Yukon) won re-election
Rep. Monroe Nichols (D – Tulsa) won re-election

Contact your legislators to let them know who you are: https://bit.ly/2mirCSN

Instant Reaction: June Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the employment situation in June:

“A total of 213,000 net new jobs in June and 2.4 million over the past 12 months reflects a strong rolling economy. The latest month’s solid job additions mean further increase in housing demand. But inventory shortage and the consequent unaffordability have been a major challenge for potential home buyers. Part of the housing inventory shortage is due to the lack of construction workers. One encouraging aspect of the latest job report is the boost in the number of people seeking work. With more people entering the labor force and seeking work, some may turn to the higher paying construction industry. A typical non-supervisory worker in the private sector earns $22.62 per hour. In the construction industry, the pay is $27.56. Despite the low unemployment rate of 4%, the employment-to-population ratio is still soft with only 60.4% of American adults with jobs, compared to 63% before the Great Recession ten years ago. In other words, there is a potential for plentiful new workers coming into construction and that will help build more new homes and relieve the inventory shortage.”