NAR News as of February 27, 2008

Published: February 28, 2008


Home Sales Slip as Buyers Wait on Sidelines
Existing-home sales eased slightly in January with some potential buyers trying to time the market and others waiting for higher loan limits on conventional financing, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says. Single-family, townhome, condominium, and co-op sales slipped 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units from an upwardly revised level of 4.91 million in December.

Lowered Commercial Investment Returns Seen
Commercial real estate continues to outperform other investments, although returns are weakening as consumer spending lags, says a report by the CCIM Institute and the Real Estate Research Corporation. The retail and industrial sectors are feeling the economic weakness the most.
TIME Hits Mark with Coverage
A piece in TIME magazine called “Ignore the headlines” effectively captures why now is a good time to buy, says NAR President Richard Gaylord in his blog post on The TIME piece focuses on how today’s historically low interest rates create long-term affordability for households who don’t wait to buy.


Mortgage Data isn’t Entirely Negative
Utah, Vermont, and South Dakota are among the states seeing a drop in foreclosures. Nationally, foreclosures are still on the rise, though. See how states are doing in an NAR Research analysis.

Condos: Who’s Buying What
Condos in small buildings (2-4 units) attract very different buyers than condos in large buildings (5 or more units). Lear about these differences in an NAR Research analysis.

In Search Of Good Neighbors
REALTOR® magazine is seeking nominees for the ninth annual Good Neighbor Awards, which recognize REALTORS® who impact their communities through volunteer work. Five winners will be recognized at the 2008 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando and will receive travel expenses to attend the show and a $10,000 grant for their community cause. Volunteer work includes affordable housing initiatives, youth mentoring, homelessness prevention, or anything else that makes a community a better place to live. Entries must be received by May 23. The entry form is available online. For more info see the March issue of REALTOR® Magazine.

Offer Centennial Congratulations in REALTOR® Magazine
Join in the celebration of NAR’s 100-year anniversary with a congratulatory message in REALTOR® magazine’s commemorative centennial issue. For $2,000, your association’s logo and 25-word message will appear in a special congratulations page running in the magazine’s May issue. 

Participate in the NAR Centennial Mosaic
Be a part of the celebration by adding your photo to the commemorative centennial mosaic. Visit the website to upload your photo, order the centennial book, watch the video and more.


Brokerage Doesn’t Owe Duty to Tenant
An oral agreement between a tenant and a home seller wasn’t an enforceable contact, so there was no tortious interference by a listing broker who tried to find another buyer for the home, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Division, ruled, affirming the trial court.


IRS Considers Modifying REMIC Rules
NAR and other housing groups are urging the IRS to modify rules governing real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC) securities to allow common modifications to the underlying commercial properties. REMICs are a vehicle by which commercial mortgages are securitized and sold to investors. NAR and the other members of the REMIC coalition are asking the IRS to allow modification of the collateral as long as the basic terms of the securitized loan don’t change (for example, permitting a new anchor tenant in the commercial property). The group also wants the IRS to allow loan prepayment and the addition or substitution of an obligor. The Mortgage Bankers Association and the Real Estate Roundtable are among the participants of the REMIC coalition.

Efforts to Boost Minority Homeownership Detailed
2008 NAR President-elect Charles McMillan described REALTORS® efforts to bridge the minority homeownership gap to a gathering of lawmakers, educators, religious leaders, government officials, and housing advocates last week. Just under 48 percent of African American households are homeowners, compared to almost 75 percent of white households.

Last modified: February 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm | Originally published: February 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm
Printed: September 27, 2020