The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) stayed right on message as it proposed a four-point plan for Congress to enact to resuscitate the housing market and including yet another plea to keep banks out of the real estate business.
The plan, revealed in a statement made late last week and in the NAR President's Podcast released on October 21, calls for a special "lame-duck" session of Congress and asks that it consider the following, what it calls "consumer-driven" provisions to boost the economy and soothe the nerves of jittery homebuyers.
1. Eliminate the provision contained in last summer's housing rescue bill that requires first-time homebuyers to repay the $7,500 tax credit they receive under the plan and expand that credit to apply to all buyers of a primary residence.
2. Urge the government to use a portion of the allotted $700 billion that was provided to purchase mortgage-backed securities from banks to provide price stabilization for housing. The Treasury department should be required to:
3. Extend credit down to Main Street, making credit more available to consumers and small businesses;
- Extend credit down to Main Street, making credit more available to consumers and small businesses;
- Expedite the process for short sales;
- Expedite the resolution of banks' real estate owned (REOs) properties.
4. Make permanent the prohibition against banks entering real estate brokerage and management, further protecting consumers and the economy.
In the podcast NAR President Richard F. Gaylord called the proposal "a boldstep on the policy front," and urged NAR members to talk with members of Congress while they are home in their districts over the election hiatus about the proposal and how important its provisions are to consumers.
In the earlier statement Gaylor said, "Housing has always lifted the economy out of downturns, and it is imperative to get the housing market moving forward as quickly as possible." It is vital to the economy that Congress take specific actions to boost the confidence of potential homebuyers in the housing market and make it easier for qualified buyers to get safe and affordable mortgage loans. We are asking Congress to act right away."
Gaylord said NAR, as the leading advocate for homeownership and private property rights, believes it is important for Congress to address the concerns and fears of America's families, much in the way it has addressed Wall Street turbulence. "Housing is and has always been a good, long-term investment and a family's primary step towards accumulating wealth."
Gaylord said that NAR will strongly pursue those proposals and is calling on Congress to return to enact housing stimulus legislation in a lame-duck session after the national elections in November.