As homeownership continues be a main component of the American dream, more real estate professionals are making moves to ensure the opportunity to be a successful owner is available.
The president of the National Association of Realtors, Gary Thomas, noted the importance of homeownership at the 2012 Realtors Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida, on November 9.
Some key points made in his speech to agents and other industry professionals from across the country included tax policy, as it will be a major focus for Congress. Without a properly balanced budget, government programs that have been set in place to benefit homeowners and those looking to purchase a properties could dissipate or become less regulated.
Thomas indicated that NAR obtained 183 cosponsors in support of tax deduction for mortgage interest, noting that the association will be working closely with Congress for a solution that will benefit homeowners and prospective buyers. He added that nearly nine of 10 buyers must obtain a loan to make the investment and many rely on tax credits and other benefits when choosing to make this investment.
Current market factors 'affordable,' standards to strict
Affordability continues to be a main concern for buyers and Realtors, while more emphasis has been placed on consumers and their responsibility for keeping up with their housing expenses, stricter regulations for lenders and the foreclosure process are necessary. Thomas noted that strong evidence exists that suggests responsible lending standards are linked to an increased number of buyers who are able to keep up with their monthly mortgage payments. These regulations should follow rules and guidelines set by federal agencies and associations, like NAR.
"The issue right now isn't whether someone chooses to rent or buy today; it's whether they'll be able to become homeowners in the future," said Thomas. "As the leading advocate for homeownership and real estate issues, NAR is ready to engage. Realtors are fully committed to ensuring that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home has the opportunity to pursue that dream."
A new report from Redfin reveals that 85 percent of surveyed real estate agents reported buyers are becoming more confident in the housing market, while 84 percent also agreed that sellers are also more optimistic about the real estate industry.