6 REALTOR® Associations Honored for Community Outreach

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has honored six REALTOR® associations with Community Outreach Awards, recognizing them for their community involvement, the organization recently announced. The associations awarded are Cape Fear REALTORS®, N.C.; Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, N.Y.; Austin Board of REALTORS®, Texas; Richmond Association of REALTORS®, Va.; Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS®, S.C.; and Bronx-Manhattan North Association of REALTORS®, N.Y.

“REALTORS® are community leaders and are dedicated to building successful neighborhoods and advocating on behalf of homeowners,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “I am proud to recognize the associations that are receiving NAR’s Community Outreach Award; through their work, these associations exemplify the core values of REALTORS® to improve their neighborhoods and communities.”

Community Outreach Award Winners

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Cape Fear REALTORS®, North Carolina
The association made use of two NAR Land Use Initiatives to defeat a proposed vacation rental ordinance in Kure Beach and work with elected officials to modify a zoning change for group homes in New Hanover County. The association also received two NAR Placemaking Grants to build community gardens—and incorporated both activities into a REALTOR® volunteer action day—and an NAR Smart Growth grant to hold a seminar for 165 people on water issues and bring together several community groups to discuss the topic.

Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, New York
The association, working closely with the city and other local organizations, utilized an NAR Housing Opportunity grant to hold a housing fair called “Celebrate City Living,” which attracted 500 people. The association also used four NAR Smart Growth grants to sponsor a lecture series on equity in planning and hold a symposium for community design professionals on planning and transportation.

Austin Board of REALTORS®, Texas
With an NAR diversity grant, the board held a two-day conference surrounding the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ (NAREB) State of Housing in Black America report; the local NAREB chapter and leaders from the local Hispanic and Asian real estate professionals’ organizations, NAACP, Black Chamber of Commerce and Urban League attended. The board also received NAR Housing Opportunity grants to connect homeless veterans to permanent housing, hold an event about the community’s need for small homes and townhouses, host housing fairs, and hold a forum to explore the connection between housing and health. The board also took advantage of an NAR Smart Growth grant to fund a community workshop about a large development that many neighbors opposed, which helped facilitate the city, developers and neighbors reaching consensus.

Richmond Association of REALTORS®, Virginia
The association used an NAR Housing Opportunity grant to support Project Homeless Connect, an event that matches volunteers and service providers with the homeless. NAR Housing Opportunity Grants were also used to educate the public on the connection between housing supply and economic prosperity and for seminars on community land trusts. The association also held two vacant property trainings supported by NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program, and invited Richmond public officials, city staff, property owners and housing advocates to learn about the effect vacant properties have on communities and real estate values and the techniques that can be used to turn these properties into community assets.

Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS®, South Carolina
The association implemented an NAR Placemaking Grant to build a playground and received a NAR Smart Growth Grant to support a community planning analysis by the Urban Land Institute. The association also undertook a pilot walkability study, or “walkshop,” using an NAR Smart Growth Grant to host a national expert in walkability who carried out a “walk audit” to observe and analyze the Myrtle Beach community and to make a major commercial artery more safe and welcoming for pedestrians.

Bronx-Manhattan North Association of REALTORS®, New York
Using an NAR Placemaking Grant, the association partnered with the local Bronx Community Board 9 on a public arts project that used local artists to create a mural celebrating notable people from the Bronx, from hip-hop pioneers to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The mural has contributed to the success of a new pedestrian plaza adjacent to a rail transit station. Taking advantage of several NAR Smart Growth Grants, the association worked with Bronx Community Board 9 to undertake long-term planning activities to change local land use and zoning.

To be considered for the award, associations must have made use of REALTOR® Party Community Outreach resources over a two-year period to address a challenge facing their community, developed partnerships with community stakeholders, or involved the public in a project or discussion to improve the community.

For more information, please visit realtoractioncenter.com/community-outreach/.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

NAR: Trouble ahead as National Flood Insurance Program expiration date nears

The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire six months from Thursday on Sept. 30, 2017, prompting the National Association of Realtors to try to bring awareness to the expiration and its consequences: a disruption in closing loans.

NAR noted that while the NFIP isn’t perfect and reforms are needed, it will continue working closely with everyone involved to achieve those reforms.

“Good work has been done in Congress, at FEMA and elsewhere to clear the way for those efforts. We thank leaders on both sides of the aisle for all they’ve done up to this point. Now, it’s time for action. Congress has six months to do the right thing and pass a long-term reauthorization of the program. We’re hoping they do just that,” said NAR President William Brown, founder of Investment Properties.

If nothing is done, NAR stressed that the expiration would “deal significant damage to current policy-holding property owners, as well as threaten property sales and the broader housing market.”

Putting the impact into perspective, NAR pointed out that when the NFIP expired in 2010, more than 1,300 home sales were disrupted every day as a result.

“That’s over 40,000 every month. Flood insurance is required for a mortgage in the 100-year floodplain, but without access to the NFIP, buyers simply couldn’t get a mortgage or vital protection from the No. 1 cause of loss of property and life: flooding,” said Brown.

The infographic below from NAR shows why America needs the National Flood Insurance Program.

Click to enlarge

(Source: NAR) 

Pending US homes sales reach 10-month high

Single family homes in the U.S. (Credit: Rachel Elaine via Flickr)

The number of pending U.S. home sales reached a 10-month high in February, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The index, which tracks contract signings on previously owned homes, jumped 5.5 percent in February to reach 112.3, the Wall Street Journal reported. That’s the highest level since April 2016 and the second-highest level since May 2006, according to the newspaper.

Warmer weather and gains on the stock market could be causing the stronger sales, Lawrence Yun, the NAR chief economist said, according to the Journal. The expectation the Federal Reserve will continue to lift interest rates this year may also have encouraged people to buy homes, Yun said.

Earlier this month, the central bank raised rates for the third time since the late-2000s financial crisis.  Officials also indicated they will raise interest rates at least twice more this year. [WSJ]Miriam Hall

2017 Appraiser Trends Study by NAR

There’s been a lot of talk within the industry about appraisals lately, especially on issues like turnaround times, higher and/or “rush fees,” and the challenge of bringing new appraisers into the profession. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) just wrapped up a survey of appraisers to get their take and the results offer some fresh evidence on what’s driving this conversation. In total, 2,248 appraisers completed the survey. Most questions, however, were asked only of appraisers who currently work in the field of who have done so during the past year, resulting in a sample size of 2,116. Below is a glimpse of the survey findings.

  • Training is a real issue. Few seasoned appraisers are doing it, and those who do often do so for no pay. One challenge highlighted is the unwillingness of lenders to accept appraisals performed in part by a trainee, as well as concerns with liability. Fewer than 20 percent of appraisers will train others.

    Training Appraisers
    2017 Appraiser Trends Study by NAR

     

  • Appraisers are working to address turnaround time: But there’s less willingness to perform FHA/VA loans. Appraisers also complained of lower compensation from bank-owned asset management companies, or AMCs, as opposed to work done for law firms, lenders, and independent AMCs.
    Fees Per Channel
    2017 Appraiser Trends Study by NAR

     

  • Dissatisfaction with the profession is high as challenges with FHA, others persist:The average tenure of an appraisal hovered around 22 years, but roughly 10 percent of respondents said they may leave the field within 5 years. Frustrations with regulatory burdens and insufficient compensation are the top two reasons cited for a desire to leave. NAR has worked with FHA closely to address some of these concerns, and those conversations are ongoing.

William E Brown, President for NAR stated:

“The work of an appraiser is indispensable to our industry. Appraisers provide the credible, outside opinion on a property value that agents, lenders, and ultimately the consumer depend on to guide them through a transaction. If the regulatory burdens holding appraisers back go unaddressed, the challenge of providing that timely appraisal will only get worse. We have to work together as an industry to clear the way for appraisers to continue doing their good work while building an environment that encourages talented newcomers to get in the game.”

Click Here to view the full report of survey results. Bottom line, if there is an appraiser “shortage” in certain markets, the combination of lack of training and dissatisfaction among those currently in the profession may be something to watch.

Let us know how you feel, take our two minute Appraisal Buzz survey on appraisal turn times.

Have content of your own that you would like to submit? Email comments@appraisalbuzz.com.

NAR Infographic: Housing’s Sweet 16’s – PR Newswire

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Pending home sales jump in February

Bloomberg

Pending home sales boomed in February.

Contract signings for home sales boomed in February to the second-highest level in a decade, a trade group said Wednesday.

Pending home sales rose 5.5% in February after falling 2.8% in January, the National Association of Realtors reported. That’s the highest level in close to a year.

A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed.

The NAR said the rising stock market and steady hiring helped, as did fears from home buyers of rising interest rates. Read more on mortgage rates

The warmest February in decades also played a role, the NAR said.

The NAR forecasts a 2.3% rise in existing-home sales and a 4% rise in median home prices for 2017, after a 3.8% rise in existing sales and a 5.1% price rise in 2016.

Rockingham County realtors expand into regional association

The Rockingham County Association of Realtors went from a community of less than 100 realtors to one of more than 1,500 strong as it recently merged into the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association.

“It is a good move for us,” said Faye Shelton, owner/broker of Five Star Realty based out of Eden and now member of the GRRA Board of Directors. “We’re excited about it.”

For the local realtors, this step has been a welcome change, opening them up to a wider range of resources. 

“Because the Greensboro association is so much larger, they have the ability to offer us as realtors more service, training opportunities and a larger network,” Shelton said.

This decision comes after the RCAR struggled to keep up with the standards put out by the national association, Shelton said. The organization was otherwise on a positive trend.

“We lost some members when the market dipped, but it’s growing,” she said. “We’re adding members now and the market has much increased and improved.”

By Shelton’s estimate, about 68 formerly RCAR realtors moved over in the merger and joined other Rockingham County realtors that were already there, bringing the total to about 80.

Despite the association’s wide regional breadth, the local realtors will continue to keep their focus in this area through the Rockingham County Realtors Council, a subset of the GRRA.

According to Shelton, local home seekers can expect the same service from local realtors as they’ve seen in the past.

“I just like for people in the community to know that we are not going away, that we are their local Rockingham County realtors and we are still here to serve them as we always have,” Shelton said.

US Home Prices Rise at Fastest Rate in 31 Months, Case-Shiller Says

By Laura Kusisto 

Home prices in January rose at their fastest rate since mid-2014, a trend that bodes well for sellers but could ultimately start to dampen buyer demand this spring selling season.

The SP CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, which cover the entire nation, rose 5.9% in the 12 months ended in January, the strongest increase in 31 months, up from a 5.7% year-over-year increase reported in December.

The 10-city index gained 5.1% over the year, up from 4.8% the prior month, and the 20-city index gained 5.7% year-over-year, up from a 5.5% increase in December.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the 20-city index to climb by 5.6%.

The strong growth in prices poses a challenge for first-time buyers trying to get into the market this year.

“This spring market looks to be heated. There are a far larger number of buyers chasing after fewer inventories,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “Prices are easily outpacing people’s income growth” which is causing “consternation for renters who are trying to get into the homeownership market.”

The hottest markets in the country remain concentrated in the northwest. Seattle led the way with a 11.3% increase, Portland reported a 9.7% year-over-year gain and Denver had a 9.2% annual increase in home prices.

Home prices hit a new record in September and have continued climbing by more than 5% year-over-year since then, driven by strong demand and a shortage of homes for sale. Inventory in December hit its lowest level since 1999, when the National Association of Realtors started tracking the data.

The number of homes for sale was down 7.1% in January compared with a year earlier, the realtors said. It has since ticked up slightly but inventory in February remained 6.4% below a year earlier.

Tight supplies and rising prices may be deterring some people from trading up to a larger house and also shrinking the number of households that can afford to buy at current price levels, said David Blitzer, managing director at SP Dow Jones Indices. “At some point, this process will force prices to level off and decline — however we don’t appear to be there yet.”

Month-over-month, the U.S. Index rose 0.2% in January before seasonal adjustment, while the 10-city rose 0.3% and the 20-city index increased 0.2% from December to January.

After seasonal adjustment, the national index rose 0.6% month-over-month, while both the 10-city and 20-city index rose 0.9%.

Purchases of previously owned homes declined in both January and February, as tight inventory and rising prices frustrated would-be buyers. Existing homes sells declined 3.7% in February, the National Association of Realtors said.

Write to Laura Kusisto at laura.kusisto@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 28, 2017 09:29 ET (13:29 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones Company, Inc.

6 Realtor® Associations Honored for Community Outreach

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The National Association of Realtors® has honored six Realtor® associations across the country with Community Outreach Awards. These awards recognize associations that have worked within their communities to make them a better place to live and do business.

“Realtors® are community leaders and are dedicated to building successful neighborhoods and advocating on behalf of homeowners,” said NAR President William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties, a division of his family real estate business. “I am proud to recognize the associations that are receiving NAR’s Community Outreach Award; through their work, these associations exemplify the core values of Realtors® to improve their neighborhoods and communities.”

This is the second time NAR has honored Realtor® associations with Community Outreach Awards. To be considered for the award, associations must have made use of Realtor® Party Community Outreach resources over a two-year period to address a challenge facing their community, developed partnerships with community stakeholders, or involved the public in a project or discussion to improve the community. The award recipients were announced and recognized last week at NAR’s 2017 Association Executives Institute in Denver.

The 2017 recipients of NAR’s Community Outreach Award are:

Cape Fear Realtors®, North Carolina: The association made use of two NAR Land Use Initiatives to defeat a proposed vacation rental ordinance in Kure Beach and to work with elected officials to modify a zoning change for group homes in New Hanover County. The association also received two NAR Placemaking Grants to build community gardens – and incorporated both activities into a Realtor® volunteer action day – and an NAR Smart Growth grant to hold a seminar for 165 people on water issues and bring together several community groups to discuss the topic.

Greater Rochester Association of Realtors®, New York: The association, working closely with the city and other local organizations, utilized an NAR Housing Opportunity grant to hold a very successful housing fair called “Celebrate City Living,” which attracted 500 people. The association also used four NAR Smart Growth grants to sponsor a lecture series on equity in planning and hold a symposium for community design professionals on planning and transportation.

Austin Board of Realtors®, Texas: With an NAR diversity grant the board held a two-day conference surrounding the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ State of Housing in Black America report; the local NAREB chapter and leaders from the local Hispanic and Asian real estate professionals’ organizations, NAACP, Black Chamber of Commerce and Urban League attended. The board also received NAR Housing Opportunity grants to connect homeless veterans to permanent housing, hold an event about the community’s need for small homes and townhouses, host housing fairs, and hold a forum to explore the connection between housing and health. The board also took advantage of an NAR Smart Growth grant to fund a community workshop about a large development that many neighbors opposed, which helped facilitate the city, developers and neighbors reaching consensus.

Richmond Association of Realtors®, Virginia: The association used an NAR Housing Opportunity grant to support Project Homeless Connect, an event that matches volunteers and service providers with the homeless. NAR Housing Opportunity Grants were also used to educate the public on the connection between housing supply and economic prosperity and for seminars on community land trusts. The association also held two vacant property trainings supported by NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program, and invited Richmond public officials, city staff, property owners and housing advocates to learn about the effect vacant properties have on communities and real estate values and the techniques that can be used to turn these properties into community assets.

Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors®, South Carolina: The association implemented an NAR Placemaking Grant to build a playground and received a NAR Smart Growth Grant to support a community planning analysis by the Urban Land Institute. The association also undertook a pilot walkability study, or “walkshop,” using an NAR Smart Growth Grant to host a national expert in walkability who carried out a “walk audit” to observe and analyze the Myrtle Beach community and to make a major commercial artery more safe and welcoming for pedestrians. 

Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors®, New York: Using an NAR Placemaking Grant, the association partnered with the local Bronx Community Board 9 on a public arts project that used local artists to create a mural celebrating notable people from the Bronx, from hip-hop pioneers to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The mural has contributed to the success of a new pedestrian plaza adjacent to a rail transit station. Taking advantage of several NAR Smart Growth Grants, the association worked with Bronx Community Board 9 to undertake long-term planning activities to change local land use and zoning. 

For additional information on NAR’s community outreach programs and awards, visit realtoractioncenter.com/community-outreach/.  

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 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.                     

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/6-realtor-associations-honored-for-community-outreach-300430483.html

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

Related Links

http://www.realtor.org

Why Orange County homes cost triple the national norm

Last year, you could buy one typical Orange County single-family home or get one home each in, say, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Richmond, Va.

Or one each in Phoenix, Chicago and Durham, N.C. Pick any three!

Yes, my trusty spreadsheet tells me local house hunters last year paid 3.14 times the national cost for an existing single-family home, according to National Association of Realtors data. Paying triple the norm – what I call the “Orange Premium” – has been the price of relative paradise since late 2013.

Are sunshine and surf worth that much?

Housing affordability has been a major local story ever since I first came to the Orange County Register as a business journalist in 1986. Twenty years ago this month, I began my current assignment as the paper’s business columnist. The high cost of shelter has been a common theme of my work.

Among the first columns I wrote was a look at a simple housing affordability calculation I drew up: this ratio of the cost of buying the median-priced Orange County home vs. what a typical U.S. house hunter pays.

In 1997, at the end of a lengthy regional economic malaise, my housing-cost ratio had fallen to fewer than two U.S. homes per one O.C. residence, the lowest level in a decade. So, I suggested local prices looked like a historical bargain.

From late 2004 through early 2008, the Orange Premium was triple the national price. Dare I remind you how that cycle ended? With the Orange Premium back to at three times the national norm are we set for another fall?

Let me offer a retrospective, drawn from 20 years of columnizing, to hypothesize that four key reasons may keep local home prices well above the rest of the nation.

1. Too many jobs

Can you have too much of a good thing? Yes, especially if housing development doesn’t keep pace.

In the past two 20 years, Orange County has added jobs at a 1.4 percent annualized rate vs. 0.95 nationally. Yes, we’re that much better! Even if homebuilders were able to keep pace, added wealth created from the local hiring spree significantly boosts housing demand.

Since I started my column, Orange County home prices have more than tripled while national prices almost doubled.

So view the “Orange Premium” as a sign of proportional prosperity.

2. Not enough new homes

In two decades, Orange County developers have sold 95,600 new homes while local bosses have grown employment by 386,000. That’s roughly four people with new jobs for every new home created.

How short of sufficient is that? Well, nationwide, roughly two jobs were created for every home built.

This homebuilding gap is a national challenge. Both locally and across the U.S., homebuilding in the last 10 years has run at roughly half the pace of the previous 10 years.

The industry’s dominance by publicly owned builders has lowered risk-taking in many regions and, thus, cut willingness to build aggressively.

3. Too many expensive new homes

Homebuilders aren’t stupid.

If it’s hard for them to get permission to build new homes in Orange County, they’ll stick to constructing the most profitable ones: the high end.

In the past 20 years, the median selling price of a new Orange County home, as tabulated by CoreLogic, ran 28 percent above the price of all homes in the market. In the previous decade, this gap was just 15 percent.

I won’t get into the chicken-or-egg debate here about “why?” but is it any surprise that pricier new homes have sold at a 40 percent slower pace since 1997 vs. the previous 10 years?

4. Too many people

There is a price to the high price of paradise. See the changes in 20 years:

• We’ve added a half-million people but our population growth rate has been halved.

• We’re older, as evidenced by the birth rate cut by one-quarter.

• We’re 15 percent less likely to own our home.

• On the 5 at Grand Avenue, the exit for the Register’s Santa Ana headquarters, traffic volume has grown 50 percent!

5. Too many good jobs

Who can afford these fancy new homes?

Let me give you one small example. In the past 20 years, state job stats show employers in the high-paying professional, technical and managerial service categories – the folks who fill local high-rises and office parks – have boosted payrolls by 64,000 workers.

That may not sound like lots of hiring — it’s roughly one-in-six of all new jobs — but those 64,000 added white-collar positions with homebuying-qualification potential are roughly equal to two-thirds of the number of new homes created in the same period. And other industries have grown their high-end jobs, too!

Steady creation of good paying work, aligned with shrinking construction of mid-priced housing, is why an Orange County home still costs you triple the national norm.

But if demand (good-paying jobs) shrinks dramatically or supply (new housing) surges, watch out the price of paradise will be too high.

Contact the writer: jlansner@scng.com