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Posts Tagged ‘NAR’

Sales expected to rise this year compared to 2009

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

NAR is reporting that they still expect sales to rise in 2010 compared to 2009. Currently, an expected rise of 4.3% is anticipated. While this doesn’t match the original forecast of 6.5%, it does confirm recorded sales are up in most parts of the country.

NAR is forecasting home price increases to rise 2.5% this year and 3.7% in 2011.

Most importantly, NAR announced its pending home sales index rose 21% in April compared to last year. What does this tell us? A lot of offers were written prior to the tax credit expiration.

NAR wants more Economic Stimulus

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

At its November 10th meeting in Orlando, the National Association of REALTORS decided to ask the U.S. government (taxpayers) to do the following:

1. Make the $7,500 first-time home buyer tax credit, enacted earlier this year as part of housing stimulus legislation, available to all buyers and eliminate the repayment requirement.

2.  Make 2008 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits permanent.

3. Get the U.S. Treasury to target funds from the $700 billion federal economic rescue package to mortgage relief and create an interest-rate buydown program for residential mortgages.

4. Permanently bar banks from entering real estate brokerage or management.

Don’t hold your breath.  Even if they are all upheld, we are skeptical that any of these programs will do much good for the housing market.  For instance, it may sound good that Fannie Mae’s purchase limits stay inflated at over $729,950 in high priced markets instead of $625,500, but if that ends up making Fannie Mae hemorrhage money or the US Government to lose its AAA credit rating, how much good will that do?

Barring banks from real estate?  Considering how bad banks screwed up real estate lending the last 8 years, I don’t think Realtors have that much to worry about in real estate brokerage.

No down payments for first-time buyers (through a free tax credit) sounds great as a seller, except that many sellers will remain real estate owners after they sell and the credit will cause future pain.  No down payment mortgages are what got us into these problems in the first place.

The government needs to shore up its own finances.  When this happens, the economy, jobs, and YES residential real estate will benefit.

If you price your home to sell, it will generally sell, even in today’s market.  Take the proceeds and opportunistically re-invest.  Don’t get caught up in all these market-distorting programs.

One thing NAR is doing correctly

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
Real Estate Statistics are typically computed each quarter. % drops and increases are formulated in comparison to that same quarter exactly one year prior. ( Basically Quarter 1 2008 versus Quarter 2 2007 and so forth..)

NAR has figured out that May and June #’s in 2008 are going to be well above what anyone could have predicted. As a result, NAR isn’t waiting to release these #’s. To summarize NAR’s findings, existing sales in May were up 2% and existing inventory was down 1.4%. NAR is computing these #’s with respect to April of 08. (instead of quarter 2 of 2007) NAR released these #’s to the associated press late yesterday.

J. Andrew English – Real Estate Broker

How Realtor® Groups spend their money – Good or Bad?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, June 6th, 2008

Realtors® pay dues each and every year to their local board, state association, and National Association. These funds are allocated different ways, sometimes in responsible ways and sometimes not. It is not uncommon for Realtors® to have no idea where their money is actually going. I personally called the Austin Board of Realtors® asking about a bill received this past fall. On my invoice, I had a line item for something I had never heard of before. When I called to inquire, no one in the billing department could tell me what the bill was actually for or where the money was going. Sadly, I wasn’t surprised.

GLVAR (Las Vegas Assc of Realtors®) has done a fairly solid job in years past of spending money wisely. They have adopted bill boards throughout the community encouraging anti graffiti, etc… Other boards throughout CA have spent money opposing increased real estate transfer taxes levied by the counties. These groups should be commended for spending money in hopes of helping both its members and public. By opposing transfer taxes, these associations are taking an active role in reducing the cost of selling a home.

It’s a shame NAR can’t follow the lead of these associations. Instead, they continue to waste millions of dollars fighting the DOJ on issues they aren’t going to win. NAR would be much better served to put this money to a more positive use. Examples include Realtor® education, opposing the new Green Law proposition in Austin, etc…. NAR could do so much to increase its public perception by using their funds responsibly. Instead they waste their money fighting the DOJ and further reduce the public opinion of Realtors®.

NAR – DOJ – Proposed Settlement

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Rather than go over the entire proposed settlement, a few points below: However, to view the proposal, please visit http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f233600/233607.htm

Both IDX and VOW websites will continue to be available to the public.

VOW websites will require email authentication for public use/access.

IDX related websites are not affected by the agreement.

VOW websites will continue to operate and be available to the public.

MLS’s will not be able to keep data away from VOW related websites.

NAR wasted an absurd amount of money on a 3 year legal battle that could have been settled years ago on the exact same terms.

Overall, any data that you could hand to a client in your office, you can also display through your VOW. This includes sold data, withdrawn data, expired data, pending ratios, etc… If you can give it to your client in person, you can broadcast it through your website. This is exactly what MLS’s wanted to avoid. NAR had argued that this data should be exclusive to its members, not the general public.

NAR and Realtor® Education

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

First, keep in mind that licensing requirements are set by the state, not NAR. However, NAR has a history of doing absolutely nothing to support more rigorous academic standards for licensees. Understand that no one benefits more than NAR from an increase in state licensees. Here is why, if you wish to have access to the MLS and join your local Board of Realtors®, you must join NAR and pay dues. Naturally, NAR benefits from more members paying dues. The more members, the more lobbying power NAR has for its own interest. (Most brokers will require you to become a member of NAR prior to employment) So, to summarize, what real incentive does NAR have to encourage stricter license requirements? What bothers me is that NAR has an amazing amount of lobbying power; however, rarely do they ever use this for the benefit of the public. Instead, they waste their time and member’s money by continuing to fight the DOJ on issues that hurt the public, not help. To top it off, NAR has recently started requiring that all members contribute to the Realtor® Image Campaign. NAR already has the ability to begin the process of changing the public perception of Realtors®, they just choose not to do it. But it is interesting they are collecting money for a “Realtor Image Campaign”. A few ideas below that might dramatically shift the public perception:

Lobby for stricter salesperson requirements

Lobby for more rigorous audits for broker trust accounts

Lobby for longer tenure requirements for Corporate Brokers

Put in education programs to help Realtors® understand current trends: Such as Short Sales, Loan Fraud, etc..

NAR Credit Union

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Thursday, January 31st, 2008

While the National Association of REALTORS® is strongly opposed to banks entering real estate, it has voted to provide $10MM in startup capital for an Internet-based NAR credit union.  One of its focus areas will be providing loans for its members which typically have commission-based incomes that some lenders shy away from.  While I personally don’t really care about banks entering real estate and don’t necessarily think that in the long term there will be a shortgage of lenders making loans to Realtors, I think the CU idea is probably a pretty smart move in leveraging NAR’s enormous membership base.  If relatively small businesses or organizations such as Bashas’ Grocery Stores (Bashas’ Associates FCU) or Alhambra School District (Alhambra CU) could get enough members to support a credit union, then I think the potential size of an NAR CU is staggering.  If even 10-20% of its 1M+ members open an account or take out a loan, it could become a behemoth extremely quickly and probably become a Top 50 credit union nationwide.  You may be familiar with some of the largest credit unions in America: San Diego County CU, Alaska USA FCU, Desert Schools FCU (Arizona), BECU (Washington), to name a few of the Top 50.  We will see what happens.  Internet-based banks have had mixed-success thus far, some like Bank of Internet are moderately successful while NetBank recently was shut down with ING assuming its accounts.  I have a feeling that NAR CU could fare better.