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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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