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NAR urges congress to take action, gets mixed reviews

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National Association of Realtors’ move:

This spring, many homes were sold prior to the April 30th expiration of the home buyer tax credits and the market took an upswing, but many fear that because these homes must close by June 30th, some buyers will not be granted the tax credit given that the timeliness of the lending process isn’t consistent.

Last week with news of improving pending home sales, we reported that the NAR has “asked Congress to provide flexibility on the deadline for closing” to help the buyers keep the tax incentives and Realtors can keep their deals from falling apart under conditions they cannot control.

Mixed reviews:

The news of NAR urging congress to take action has received mixed reviews with some bloggers crying foul and others supporting the move.

Real estate blogger Tom Royce said, “The reality is that when a business needs the government subsidies to function, it is not in a really good place. We all want the housing market to rebound. Agents, homeowners, potential homeowners, everyone.”

Despite how this extension makes the real estate sector appear, others are supporting the move for the sheer fact that loan officers are up against unprecedented difficulties in getting loans processed and most of it is outside the control of Realtors and their clients.

Most have strong feelings about NAR’s asking congress to extend the closing period for home buyers’ tax credits- do you support the move or do you not? We welcome you to comment below with your thoughts.

CC Licensed image courtesy of sheep purple via Flickr.com.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Jim Duncan

    June 7, 2010 at 6:54 am

    NAR needs to encourage the government to stop meddling in, manipulating and generally screwing up the real estate markets. Simple.

  2. Joe Spake

    June 7, 2010 at 8:18 am

    The tax credit was a short term fix that eroded consumer confidence, skewed pending sales numbers, and delayed market stabilization. Now the Realtors and Mortgage companies, who led the cheers for the credits are whining that they don’t have time to get the loans closed. Are they admitting that the real estate / mortgage industry cannot even plan 60 days into the future?

  3. Erica Ramus

    June 7, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I vote with Jim Duncan, above. Government should stop meddling in the markets.

  4. Susie Blackmon

    June 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Embarrassing.

  5. Mike Bowler Sr.

    June 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    At this point in the game what’s the difference if we extend the closings that are needed due to circumstances beyond control of the buyer? It seems some underwriters and processors are behind. We need to let the rest of the market fall together with good old supply and demand so we can get Uncle Sam out of the real estate business. 🙂

  6. Keith Lutz

    June 8, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Close what is already under contract, but no more hand outs from Uncle Sam! Our “Uncle” needs to see if this baby can walk, and we need to run as far away as we can!

  7. Ruthmarie Hicks

    June 8, 2010 at 1:02 am

    At this point, underwriters are tooooooo slllooooow. It was unrealistic to expect closings to happen within 60 days. Since this is not permitting NEW tax credits from entering the system, I really don’t see the problem. There are a lot of sale pending that need to close with the tax credit. The bottom line is the disruption to buyers and sellers a like should many closings be disrupted due to a log jam with respect to underwriting.

  8. Joe Loomer

    June 8, 2010 at 6:36 am

    What I’m hearing through the rail line is that closings delayed due to lender or other reason are still going to close, buyer wanted the tax credit but it wasn’t the reason they bought. I’m with Jim – let’s ease Uncle Sam back into his hole and let him stay there until we really need the massive lumbering government aparatus for something like, say, a little oil spill perhaps?

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  9. @bkmcae Ben Martin, Va Assn of Realtors

    June 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Make of this what you will, but NAR’s Gov’t Affairs staff hasn’t posted anything about this request to Congress to any of its web pages at Realtor.org.

  10. @bkmcae Ben Martin, Va Assn of Realtors

    June 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Moments later…
    varealtor.com/news/2010/06/extension-on-deadline-to-close-claim-credit-in-the-works

  11. Melanie Wyne

    June 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Here’s a message from NAR Vice President and Liaison to Government Affairs, Vince Malta on this issue:

    voicesofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2010/06/11/pitching-in-posted-by-vince/

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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