News from NAR as of January 2, 2008

Published: January 2, 2008

Home Sales Rise in Sign of Market Stabilization
Existing-home sales rose slightly in November, indicating an improvement in housing in the wake of mortgage disruptions earlier this year, NAR says. Total existing-home sales, including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million units from an upwardly revised pace of 4.98 million in October. “Near term, existing-home sales should continue to hover in a narrow range, just as they have since September, and that’s good news because it’ll be a further sign that the housing market is stabilizing,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Mortgage interest rates are near historic lows and the most current data shows decelerating price declines, along with a modest reduction in the number of homes on the market.” Disruptions in mortgage availability and pricing peaked in August, which caused sales to slow in subsequent months.
ISSUE UPDATES

Debt Cancellation Relief to Promote Homeownership Health
President George W. Bush took a significant step toward helping households in financial difficulty recover more quickly when he signed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act into law prior to Christmas. By barring the IRS from treating as taxable income any forgiven mortgage debt in a workout, foreclosure, or short sale, the law will help many of these households return to the homeownership market in the future, says NAR President Richard F. Gaylord in his statement on the new law.

Terrorism Insurance Extension Aids Commercial Market Stability
Passage of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision Extension Act shortly after Christmas goes a long way to preserving commercial markets from the instability that would have resulted by the unavailability of terrorism risk insurance, NAR President Richard F. Gaylord says in a statement on the new law. NAR worked for years to promote extension of a federal insurance backstop. The new law extends the program for seven years, covers both foreign and domestic acts of terrorism, retains the trigger for federal intervention at $100 million of damages, and establishes a blue ribbon commission to recommend a long-term private market solution.
infoUSA Offers Discount on Internet Sales Lead Subscriptions
REALTOR Benefits® Program Partner infoUSA is offering NAR members an ongoing discount on the monthly subscription fee for its Salesgenie.com Internet-based subscription service. Subscribers receive unlimited access to leads and mailing lists in all of the company’s 12 databases, organized under hundreds of search selections. Discounted subscription pricing is also available for the company’s Salesgenie.com/Lite service, which offers access to 6 databases and more basic information about prospects. Learn more online or call 1-866-872-8120 and mention discount code 151NAR when contacting the company.
New From Information Central
Social networking
Family firms
Commercial green buildings
Short-term rental restrictions
Books: new homes, motivating the workforce, luxury real estate, among others

Budget Worksheets Among REALTOR® Magazine Resources
Better budgeting for brokerages
Sales coach: managing expectations
Buyer’s guide: office management software

LEGAL

Michigan MLS Defeats Government Antitrust Action
An administrative law judge ruled that a REALTOR® multiple listing service did not violate federal antitrust law through its policies regarding the treatment of exclusive agency listings.

Last modified: January 2, 2008 at 11:47 am | Originally published: January 2, 2008 at 11:47 am
Printed: October 1, 2020