5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

On Wednesday, the Labor Department will report on jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 20 and economists expect filings to remain below 300,000. This will be the last weekly number that will be free of seasonal adjustment problems. After that, the data will be skewed by state-office closings to observe Christmas, New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King’s Birthday. Extreme weather could also flip the numbers, and that will make it more difficult to see how labor markets are doing as 2014 turns into 2015.

C.A.R. Applauds Sen. Barbara Boxer and 17 Colleagues for Asking HUD Secretary Julián Castro to Lower FHA Fees


The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) commends California Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and 17 other U.S. senators, including California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), for writing to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro asking him to re-examine FHA premium levels to determine whether they can be reasonably and safely lowered.

“We applaud Senator Boxer (D-CA) and the 17 U.S. senators who asked HUD to reduce fees on FHA loans in light of the agency’s improved financial situation,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “These senators understand that lowering FHA fees will serve the agency’s mission to provide a path to homeownership for the many creditworthy families but not hurt its solvency.”

The letter stated, “With the improved outlook of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF), we believe now is an appropriate time for the FHA to re-examine its premium levels to determine whether they can be reasonably and safely lowered,” the senators wrote. “While preserving the solid footing of the reserve fund is essential, reducing fees does not necessarily conflict with this goal. As any business knows, just as a price that is set too high will lead to less profit, not more, lowering the premium on qualified borrowers may actually produce greater revenue and fully restore the capital ratio more quickly.”

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) estimates that in 2013, nearly 400,000 creditworthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market because of high FHA insurance premiums. By lowering its fees, the FHA could provide greater access to homeownership for historically underserved groups. Over the past four years, the share of first-time home buyers using FHA-backed loans shrank from 56 percent to 39 percent.

C.A.R. and NAR are strong supporters of the FHA and believe a shift in policy would also increase the volume of borrowers acquiring FHA-backed loans and contribute to the solvency of the MMI Fund and make the dream of homeownership a reality for millions more Americans.

The letter was also signed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Edward Markey (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

National Association of REALTORS(R) Issues Policy Statement on Unmanned …

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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) advises members that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for real estate marketing is currently prohibited by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Such prohibited use of unmanned aerial vehicles may lead to the assessment of substantial fines and penalties. NAR supports efforts to create new federal regulations to allow for the future commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicle technology by the real estate industry. And NAR is committed to working with the Federal Aviation Administration, and any other relevant federal agencies, during the regulatory approval process. The National Association of REALTORS® will continue its ongoing efforts to educate REALTORS® about the current and future regulatory structure for the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Visit www.REALTOR.org/topics/unmanned-aerial-vehicles-drones for more information.



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One thought on “National Association of REALTORS(R) Issues Policy Statement on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)”

  • Bob Chapman says:

    Does this mean that NAR recommends that all Realtors with active listings that include photography and videos created with a drone, are to be removed from all digital, print, and the MLS channels of representation? They were clearly produced in violation. Bob Chapman

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Piedmont CA Real Estate Agent Broker Anian Tunney Enthusiastic about Latest Jobs Report

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Piedmont, CA (PRWEB) December 17, 2014

On December 5th, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) posted a summary of the latest jobs report. With 321,000 new payroll jobs created in November and an overall wage increase of 2.2% from a year ago, experts expect a jump in home sales and commercial leasing activity in the coming year.

“Increased employment and higher salaries is great news for the economy,” commented Anian Tunney, Piedmont, CA real estate agent broker. “This is especially good for real estate because more people can increase their savings, improve their credit, and generally prepare themselves to either enter or move up in the market.”

Commercial real estate transactions should also increase as businesses grow out of their current accommodations.

“The real negative to the report is the lack of construction workers,” noted Tunney. As a job growth center, the San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing a housing shortage, in part because there are not enough contractors to keep up with the demand. “As a well-established area, there is not much room for new construction,” Tunney pointed out about her high-end portion of the area; however, “new construction regionally will continue to boost the economy for Piedmont specifically and the Bay Area as a whole.”

“New construction is selling, and I think younger home buyers tend to prefer it,” continued Tunney. “Older homes, such as in Piedmont, can intimidate buyers with their price tag as well as their tendency to need a little extra care and maintenance.”

Tunney makes a valid point, as many homes for sale in Piedmont, such as 6 King Avenue – offered at $4,200,000 – date back to the 1920s. No matter what, those houses will need something replaced before a home built in this decade.

About Anian Tunney, Broker Associate

Anian Tunney is an agent broker with The Grubb Company. According to statistics collected by East Bay Regional Data, Inc., she was the 2013 number one real estate agent in Piedmont, CA for the number of units sold and sales volume. Additionally, Tunney is number one in yearly real estate sales for The Grubb Company’s Piedmont, office and number two company wide. She is known for her knowledge, experience, and network in the Piedmont community; qualities which are invaluable for finding that special home or buyers for her clients.

A fifth generation Piedmont resident, Tunney has been with the Grubb Company for over 30 years. She raised her family of four in Piedmont and is active in community projects such as the Piedmont Beautification Foundation, the East Bay Museum Auxiliary, and the Piedmont school district. Her grandmother, Amy Sutton, was a real estate agent, and now Anian works with her daughter Adrienne Krumins, making Piedmont Realty truly a family vocation. Tunney negotiates with grace and clarity of purpose. She can be contacted at 510-339-0400 ext 217, and at tunney(at)grubbco(dot)com. Her website is aniantunney.com.

Contact Information

Anian Tunney

The Grubb Company Real Estate Brokers

Oakland, CA 94611

510-339-0400 ext 217




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Hilton Head, Bluffton housing market takes a dip; Beaufort sales rise

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Lowcountry Economic Alliance to consider its own demise

Share of first-time home buyers at lowest point in 3 decades

This year’s share of first-time buyers fell to its lowest point in nearly three decades and is preventing a healthier housing market from reaching its full potential, according to an annual survey released by the National Association of Realtors. According to Realtors, first-time buyers stayed in the sidelines this year not because they don’t want to own a home, but because many young adults are facing serious financial obstacles to home ownership.

According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the share of first-time buyers dropped 5 percentage points from a year ago to 33 percent. This represents the lowest share since 1987, when the first-time home buyer share was at 30 percent.

Today’s young adults are facing major stumbling blocks to home ownership, said Lawrence Yun, the national Realtor group’s chief economist. “Rising rents and repaying student loan debt makes saving for a down payment more difficult, especially for young adults who’ve experienced limited job prospects and flat wage growth since entering the workforce,” he said. “Adding more bumps in the road is that those finally in a position to buy have had to overcome low inventory levels in their price range, competition from investors, tight credit conditions and high mortgage insurance premiums.”

Yun said job growth should eventually support higher wages, though nearly half (47 percent) of first-time buyers in this year’s survey (43 percent in 2013) said the mortgage application and approval process was much more or somewhat more difficult than expected.

The household composition of buyers responding to the survey was mostly unchanged from a year ago. Sixty-five percent of buyers were married couples, 16 percent single women, 9 percent single men and 8 percent unmarried couples. The median age of first-time buyers was 31, unchanged from the last two years, and the median income was $68,300 ($67,400 in 2013).

The median down payment ranged from 6 percent for first-time buyers to 13 percent for repeat buyers. Among 23 percent of first-time buyers who said saving for a down payment was difficult, more than half (57 percent) said student loans delayed saving, up from 54 percent a year ago.

In addition to using their own savings (81 percent), first-time buyers used a variety of outside resources for their loan down payment. Twenty-six percent received a gift from a friend or relative and 6 percent received a loan from a relative or friend. Ten percent of buyers sold stocks or bonds and tapped into a 401(k) fund.

When asked about the primary reason for purchasing, 53 percent of first-time buyers cited a desire to own a home of their own. For repeat buyers, 12 percent had a job-related move, 11 percent wanted a home in a better area, and another 10 percent said they wanted a larger home.

According to the survey, 79 percent of recent buyers said their home is a good investment, and 40 percent believe it’s better than stocks.

“The survey affirms the value of homeownership across generations. Homeownership fosters communities, creates social stability, and builds wealth over the long term,” said David Tonna, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.

Tonna added the recent move by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower down payments to 3 percent could give first-time buyers a chance at homeownership. “The 3 percent down payment option will be a viable option for creditworthy borrowers who are earning a good and reliable income, but lack the resources for substantial down payments,” said Tonna.

Information is presented by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors at silvar.org. Contact rmeily@silvar.org.

Real estate associations beef up oversight after RGJ investigation

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Charlie Oppler is named 2015 National Association of Realtors vice president

Charlie Oppler, COO/owner of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, was installed as a vice president with the National Association of Realtors at its recent officer installation in New Orleans.

Oppler has been a Realtor for more than 30 years, serving on NAR’s Board of Directors since 2003. Oppler has chaired the Realtor Party Coordinating Committee twice and the RPAC Trustees Committee, and served on three of NAR’s Presidential Advisory Groups. In 2005, he served as NAR’s regional vice president for Region II, representing New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Oppler was also president of the New Jersey Association of Realtors in 2004.

Chris Polychron, a Realtor in Hot Springs, Ark., was installed as 2015 president of the National Association of Realtors at the association’s Board of Directors meeting during the 2014 Realtors Conference Expo. Polychron has been a Realtor for 25 years and is an executive broker with 1st Choice Realty, specializing in residential brokerage.

Thomas Salomone, a Realtor from Coral Springs, Fla., is the 2015 president-elect. He is a second-generation Realtor and broker/owner of Real Estate II. Salomone has been a Realtor for 38 years and serves as a member of NAR’s Executive Committee and on the newly appointed Corporate Investor Council.

Bill Brown, a second-generation Realtor from Oakland, Calif., is the 2015 NAR first vice president. He has been a Realtor for more than 35 years; he is the founder of Investment Properties, a division of the family real estate business founded by his father, William H. Brown.

Michael McGrew, a Realtor from Lawrence, Kan., is the 2015 NAR treasurer. A Realtor for nearly 30 years, he is the CEO/chairman of McGrew Real Estate. McGrew was 2014 treasurer and 2013 vice-chair of the Finance Committee and has served on NAR’s Board of Directors for nine years.

Mike Ford is 2015 NAR vice president. He is a broker/owner of Coldwell Banker Heritage Homes in West Memphis, Ark. Ford is a long-standing member of NAR’s Board of Directors, having served since 1994.

NAR’s 2015 regional vice presidents are:

Thomas Riley, Bedford, N.H., Region I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont); Max Gurvitch, Brooklyn, N.Y., Region II (New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania); Brenda Small, Washington, D.C., Region III (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia); Sandra O’Connor, Greensboro, N.C., Region IV (Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee); Dean Asher, Orlando, Region V (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands); Beth Foley, Holland, Mich., Region VI (Michigan and Ohio); Sheryl Whitehurst, Peoria, Ill.., Region VII (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin); Jeff Nelson, Sioux Falls, S.D., Region VIII (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota); Brian Jones, Pittsburgh, Kan., Region IX (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma); Bill Jones, Temple, Texas., Region X (Louisiana and Texas); Linda Rheinberger, Las Vegas, Region XI (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming); Dan Wagner, Billings, Mont., Region XII (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington); and Steve Goddard, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Region XIII (California, Hawaii and Guam).

Duluth Area Association of REALTORS® Teams with Superior Area Association of REALTORS® to Create Point2 Portal


NorthlandMLS.com, a Point2 consumer real estate search portal created for the Duluth Area Association of REALTORS® (DAAR) in partnership with the Superior Area Association of REALTORS® (SAAR), launched this week. The new website features real estate listings and real estate professionals in Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis.

The Point2 MLS and Association Consumer Portal uses data from the local multiple listing service (MLS) to provide the most accurate information about properties for sale and rent in both areas. Listing detail pages include additional photos, neighborhood demographics and comprehensive maps, as well as the listing agent’s contact information.

The mobile friendly website also has an agent directory and a “Find a REALTOR®” tool designed to foster the connection between DAAR and SAAR agents and home buyers and sellers.

“The Duluth Area Association of REALTORS® is proud to be on the leading edge of providing the most accurate and up-to-date real estate information to consumers,” said Michelle Peterson, president of DAAR. “NorthlandMLS.com offers ‘one stop shopping’ for buyers, sellers, renters and agents in our unique market, which happens to include communities in two neighboring states.”

Point2 has been offering innovative MLS and Association Consumer Portals at no cost to real estate organizations for more than a year. Over a dozen Point2 sites for MLSs, associations and boards are currently live, with several due to launch in early 2015.

Both DAAR and SAAR have a previous working relationship with Point2. Each has used Point2’s listing syndication services to automatically distribute their members’ listings to the most popular real estate search portals. The associations chose Point2 to develop NorthlandMLS.com because of their confidence in the high level of value and services provided by Point2.

“Today’s buyers and sellers demand real estate search portals that are frequently updated, easy to use and accessible from any device,” said Linda Moola, director of sales, syndication and MLS and association services for Point2. “NorthlandMLS.com achieves these three critical goals while sending more leads directly to the members of DAAR and SAAR. We look forward to this website becoming a popular destination for real estate searches in the Duluth and Superior areas.”

About the Duluth Area Association of REALTORS®

The Duluth Area Association of REALTORS® (DAAR) was formed in 1906 and is a founding member of the National Association of REALTORS®. DAAR provides services to our members, including education, access to the multiple listing service, legislative advocacy, professional standards enforcement and more. Through our services and relationships we add value and professional integrity to the real estate industry. Visit DAAR.com for more information.

About the Superior Area Association of REALTORS®

The Superior Area Association of REALTORS® is dedicated to providing services to our members throughout Northern Wisconsin. We offer education, professional standards information and enforcement, access to the multiple listing service, public relations and legislative advocacy. Learn more at SAARealtors.com.

About Point2

Founded in 1996, Point2 provides online marketing solutions for real estate agents worldwide and real estate organizations in North America. Point2 also owns and operates the consumer real estate search portal, Point2 Homes. Point2 is a member of the Yardi® family of companies. For more information, visit Point2.com.


Linda Moola, 888-955-7900

Realtors(R) Applaud Final Passage of Legislation to Extend Key Real Estate Tax Provisions

WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwired – Dec 17, 2014) – The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron:

“The package of tax extensions approved by the U.S. House and Senate, and headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes important provisions that will help distressed homeowners and commercial property investors with transactions made during 2014. NAR applauds Congressional leaders in both chambers for their effort to pass this legislation before adjournment.

Realtors® strongly supported the bipartisan Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which was included in the package to prevent underwater borrowers from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a workout or after their home was sold for less money than was owed. We are grateful to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., for championing the provision.

“The legislation also includes one-year extensions of the 15-year depreciation schedule for leasehold improvements and the deduction for improvements to energy efficient commercial buildings.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website.

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