As House Passes Middle-Class Tax Increase, Realtors® Say Their Work is Just Getting Started

Washington, D.C. – November 16, 2017 (nar.realtor) The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” a bill National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall has called an all-out assault on homeownership.

NAR logo

Mendenhall issued the following statement:

“It’s disappointing to see this legislation move forward, but the real work to shape this debate is just getting started. Realtors® will now look to the Senate as we make our case that the tax reform proposals pending before Congress overwhelmingly remove the tax incentive to purchase and own a home in America.

“This is about much more than a cap on the mortgage interest deduction. Rather, it is about whether homeowners will have the rug pulled out from under them with a tax system that suddenly favors renting over owning in a big way.

“Make no mistake, middle-class homeowners will see their home values fall if this proposal moves forward, while large corporations walk away with the bulk of the tax cuts.

“American homeowners shouldn’t have to pay for corporate tax cuts with their home equity. It’s a matter of basic fairness; 1.3 million Realtors® have known since the beginning, and America’s 75 million homeowners are just beginning to learn, that homeowners will be the ones paying the tab. Realtors® will do our part to spread the word as we work with the Senate to address this impending assault on homeownership.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Voice for Real Estate – Conference, Tax Reform, Mortgage Market

House Republican tax reform legislation was introduced as REALTORS® met in Chicago for their 2017 Conference & Expo. NAR opposes the legislation because it will hurt homeowners. Also, a REALTOR® testified before Congress on how to improve the secondary mortgage market.

House Passage of Flood Bill Critical Step Toward Reauthorization, Reform

Washington, D.C. – November 14, 2017 (nar.realtor) With less than a month left before the National Flood Insurance Program expires, the National Association of Realtors® is applauding the House of Representatives for passing what NAR believes is smart, much-needed support for the program.

NAR logo

“Realtors® know first-hand what happens when the NFIP expires, and it isn’t good for consumers, businesses or our communities” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. “We appreciate the leadership that members of Congress have shown passing sound reforms, which will strengthen the program, protect property owners and deliver good results for taxpayers.”

The NFIP is responsible for providing the vast majority of flood insurance policies in over 20,000 communities nationwide. Without it, most consumers would be unable to purchase the flood insurance that’s required on mortgages in a flood plain. In the past, NAR has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month when the program is unavailable.

H.R. 2874, the “21st Century Flood Reform Act,” reauthorizes the NFIP for five years, while taking steps to reform the program. These reforms include:

  • Authorizing $1 billion to elevate, buy out or mitigate high-risk properties
  • Capping flood insurance premiums at $10,000 per year for homeowners
  • Removing hurdles to the private flood insurance market, which often offers better coverage at lower cost than the NFIP
  • Providing for community flood maps and a homeowner’s ability to appeal their flood designation
  • Better aligning NFIP rates to match a property’s true risk, particularly for in-land and lower-value properties
  • Improving the claims process for flood victims
  • Addressing repeatedly flooded properties, which account for 2 percent of NFIP policies but 25 percent of claim payments

These changes, Mendenhall said, would improve the NFIP’s financial health, put consumers on a stronger footing, and deliver certainty to current and prospective homeowners.

“The conversation happening in Washington on this issue is fundamentally about how we deliver the best results for consumers and taxpayers, and that’s a good conversation to have,” Mendenhall said. “Realtors® are simply asking that Congress swiftly deliver on the promise of this program so buyers can move forward without interruption and homeowners know their most important asset is protected. With December 8 around the corner, we’re hopeful the Senate will now step up to the plate and do their part by passing a flood reform and reauthorization package without delay.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

National Association of Realtors® Outlines Concerns in Advance of Tax Reform Vote

Washington, D.C. – November 14, 2017 (nar.realtor) As a vote on tax reform in the House of Representatives draws near, National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall will outline how the House and Senate tax proposals are an attack on homeownership and middle-class Americans. Mendenhall will take questions from the media alongside senior NAR Government Affairs staff.

NAR logo

WHAT: Tax reform media conference call with the National Association of Realtors®

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

WHO: Elizabeth Mendenhall, NAR President Jamie Gregory, NAR Deputy Chief Lobbyist Evan Liddiard, NAR Senior Policy Representative

HOW: Participant Dial-in: 877-229-8493 (ID code: 117027) OR Streaming Link: https://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=17027 (link is external)

Event Highlights:

  • Brief opening remarks from NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall
  • A short presentation from NAR tax counsel Evan Liddiard on the tax proposals
  • Q&A with members of the media

RSVP not required, but appreciated. Please RSVP to Jon Boughtin (jboughtin@realtors.org (link sends e-mail), 202-383-1193) or reach out with questions.

The Anatomy of a First-time Buyer in 2017 (NAR Infographic)

Source: nar.realtor

Prospective first-time buyers in recent years have had to navigate several obstacles on their path to homeownership, including higher rents and home prices, tight inventory conditions and repaying student loan debt.

These impediments are a big reason why first-timers were only 34 percent of all transactions in the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which is far below the long-term historical average of 39 percent since the survey debuted in 1981.

Amidst these ongoing supply and affordability challenges, here is the typical makeup of a successful first-time buyer:

  • Age – 32 years old
  • Household income – $75,000
  • Cost of home purchased – $190,000
  • Down payment amount – 5 percent
  • Student loan debt – $29,000
  • Type and location of home purchased – Single-family home in a suburban area

Real Estate Infographic