NAR Update

Published: June 12, 2007

<table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="sectionheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #cc0000; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>NAR NEWS </b></span></td></tr><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>NAR Projects Home Sales to Take Gradual Upturn </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500"><p>Home sales are expected to move in a relatively narrow range in the short term with a gradual upturn by the end of the year, according to the <a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/5250T/52MOR/6C/81WRI" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/5250T/52MOR/6C/81WRI">latest forecast by NAR.</a> “Overall housing levels are historically strong, but sales remain sluggish compared to the recent boom,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist. “It’s important to keep in mind that all real estate is local, and many markets are expected to have higher sales and strengthening prices during the second half of this year.” Existing-home sales are projected to total 6.18 million in 2007 and 6.41 million next year, in contrast with 6.48 million in 2006. New-home sales are forecast at 860,000 this year and 901,000 in 2008, down from 1.05 million last year. And, housing starts are likely to total 1.43 million units in 2007 and 1.49 million next year, below the 1.8 million recorded in 2006. </p><p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="sectionheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #cc0000; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">LEGAL </b /></span></td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Property I.D. Corp., Real Estate Brokerages Accused of RESPA Violations </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500"><a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/3C76F/52MOR/6C/81WRI" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/3C76F/52MOR/6C/81WRI">The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,</a> along with the U.S. Department of Justice, filed a lawsuit against Property I.D. Corp., a large hazard reporting company in California, and four real estate brokerages for allegedly forming “sham” joint ventures designed to circumvent the kickback provisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The companies deny any wrongdoing, arguing that hazard reports are not settlement services and, therefore, do not fall under the scope of RESPA. NAR expects the lawsuit will finally provide firms with clearer guidance on what does and does not constitute a settlement service. Meanwhile, NAR continues to press HUD for clear guidelines on <a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/9MKA4/52MOR/6C/81WRI" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/9MKA4/52MOR/6C/81WRI">RESPA compliance.</a> </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Court Upholds Association’s Disciplinary Hearing Process </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">A Missouri appellate court affirms a ruling that a REALTOR® association followed adequate due process in its disciplinary sanctions against one of its members for misusing the MLS. The Greater Springfield Board of REALTORS® suspended a member for a year and fined her $5,000 for giving her MLS lock box key and PIN code to a member of the public, which violates MLS rules. Read a <a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/CWIMQ/52MOR/6C/81WRI" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/CWIMQ/52MOR/6C/81WRI">case summary.</a> </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Roommate Locator Web site FHA Lawsuit Reinstated </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">A federal appellate court remanded a case to a trial court for reconsideration on whether a statute shielded an apartment roommate finder Web site from lawsuits based on housing preferences and responses it sought from those who used the site. The Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley and the Fair Housing Council of San Diego filed a lawsuit against the Web site, Roommate.com, accusing them of violating the Fair Housing Act and California state laws. The lawsuit stems from the site’s questionnaire, which asks users for information about their gender, age, sexual orientation, occupation, and familial status. Read a summary of the case in <a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/RPHFV/52MOR/6C/81WRI" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/RPHFV/52MOR/6C/81WRI">The Letter of the Law.</a> </td></tr></td /></tr /></td /></tr /></td /></tr /></td /></tr /><!– End of story –><!– Section header –><tr><td class="sectionheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #cc0000; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br />ISSUES </b /></span></td></tr><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Mortgage Cancellation Tax Relief Bills Introduced </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">The introduction of two bipartisan companion bills in the House and Senate will help move toward achieving one of NAR’s big goals: Securing tax relief for individuals who, under current law, must pay tax on any portion of a loan that a lender forgives on a short sale, foreclosure, or similar circumstance. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), George Voinivich (R-Ohio), and others introduced S. 1394. The companion House bill, H.R. 1876, was introduced by Reps. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) and Ron Lewis (R-Ky.). Questions? </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Treasury Boosts Allowances for Health Savings Accounts </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">The Treasury has announced that amounts individuals can contribute to Health Savings Accounts will jump in 2008 to $2,900 and $5,800, respectively. Health Savings Accounts are tax-free savings accounts that supplement the health insurance benefits of individuals and families who purchase insurance plans with high deductibles. This year individuals can allocate up to $2,850 into an HSA; families may deposit up to $5,650. During 2008, the underlying health insurance must have a minimum deductible of $1,000 and a maximum of $5,600 for an individual; $2,200 minimum and $11,200 maximum for a family. </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b></b></span></td></tr></tbody></table></p></td></tr></tbody></table>


Last modified: June 12, 2007 at 9:46 am | Originally published: June 12, 2007 at 9:46 am
Printed: September 28, 2020