Highlights from the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings

It was a memorable 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo for the over 8,500 REALTORS® in attendance and plethora of NAR staff members working vigorously to ensure the meetings went on without a hitch.

For the Media Team, last week was a bevy of written news releases and blog posts covering many of the prominent sessions on topics impacting REALTORS®, consumers and the real estate industry. A special thank you is warranted to donuts, coffee and sugar.

Here’s a recap of all the news and “need-to-knows” from last week:

Monday, May 9

Metro Home Prices Maintain Steadfast Growth in First Quarter 
An uptick in sales activity amidst meager supply levels upheld the trend of unwavering price gains in an overwhelming majority of metro areas during the first quarter of 2016.

Tuesday, May 10

Pollsters Tell REALTORS® that it’s STILL the Economy, Stupid:
Election season is now in full swing, and Realtors® got some first-hand insight on the electoral state-of-play from two of the country’s premier political pollsters, Peter Hart and Bill McInturff.

HUD Secretary Castro, Panelists Discuss Housing Opportunities for Young Adults Repaying Student Debt
Struggles exist for many young adults trying to become homeowners, and the burden of repaying their student loan debt is in part delaying their ability to buy. 

Wednesday, May 11

Famed Washington Post Reporter Trades Wisdom (and Real Estate Tips) with REALTORS®
The 2016 election has been called “unprecedented” and “unlike any other,” but seasoned journalist Bob Woodward had a lot to say at the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo about lessons learned from past administrations and what they can teach us about present-day politics.

RealScout Joins REach® Accelerator Class of 2016
Second Century Ventures has accepted RealScout, an agent-branded web and mobile platform, as the eighth company in its 2016 REach® accelerator class.

Real Estate Agents, Appraisers Voice Concerns over FHA Appraisal Policies
While the Federal Housing Administration’s overhaul of its Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook last year offered loan originators more clarity on lending policies and loan underwriting standards, some changes made to the property valuation policies are causing confusion and delays.

Thursday, May 12

OAR members joined REALTORS® from around the country meeting with Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill about federal issues that impact our profession and property ownership. Catch the special Washington edition of Capitol Insider to hear 2016 OAR President Chuck Harris and Federal Political Coordinator Kathy Fowler talk to Congressman Frank Lucas about his views about the importance of the real estate industry.

Existing-Home Sales on Course for Best Year since 2006, Student Loan Debt Slowing Prospective Buyers
Relentless supply constraints and home price growth outpacing wages are testing the patience of homebuyers this year, but existing-home sales are still on track to come in at their highest pace since 2006, says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: REALTORS® “On the Front lines to Strengthen Middle Class”
Residential issues forum guest speaker Sen. Elizabeth Warren pulled no punches when it came to the topic of student loan debt and its effect on the broader economy.

Lending Remains Largest Concern for Commercial Real Estate Market, Say REALTORS®
REALTORS® specializing in commercial real estate expressed confidence in the continued recovery seen in the market but concern over the availability of commercial financing. 

Friday, May 13

What the Latest Fair Housing Guidance on Criminal Background Checks Means for Real Estate
The Department of Housing and Urban Development published Fair Housing Act guidance on April 4 that has raised concerns for housing providers who use criminal history screening processes to make decisions about sales, rentals financing and other real estate activity. Since then, real estate professionals have been asking what it means for them and their businesses.

Millennials Changing Face of America, Heavily Impacting Homeownership, Say Experts
Millennials are bucking trends, changing the landscape of America, and sharply different from previous generations in many different ways. One of the most visible and consequential ways is through millennial homeownership numbers, according to experts on generational trends and homeownership.

Fine Balance Needed between Property Rights, Regulation of Short-term Rentals
Mobile and online technology and evolving consumer tastes are changing the dynamics of renting property, and the debate on whether the regulatory response from state and local governments clashes with individual property rights will likely continue, according to speakers at a panel discussion on the current issues surrounding short-term rentals.

REALTOR® University Celebrates Their 2016 Graduates
Congratulations to the 2016 REALTOR® University graduating class! Their academic success was celebrated today with a commencement ceremony in Washington, D.C.The students at REALTOR® University differentiate themselves by earning a Master of Real Estate degree, which includes courses and concentrations tailored specifically to the needs of real estate professionals.

USDA Commends National Association of REALTORS® for Rural Housing Support
REALTORS® are an entry point to homeownership for millions of consumers, but providing options for prospective homebuyers in rural areas is often more challenging than in urban and suburban markets. Rural areas may suffer from a lack of affordable inventory, and mortgage credit can be hard to come by.

SBA Loans – You might want to take a second look!
Leaders of the Small Business Administration spoke about how SBA’s 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs can benefit commercial clients.

Source: NAR Newsline