Realtors® Welcome Renewed Efforts Toward Housing Stabilization

Congress and the U.S. Department of the Treasury must enact legislative and regulatory priorities to stabilize the housing market and help stop the U.S. financial market’s rapid deterioration, and on Friday, five freshman U.S. senators took decisive action toward this goal.

“For months the National Association of Realtors® has urged the importance of stabilizing the housing market to help the nation’s economic future,” said NAR President Charles McMillan. “Although steps have been taken, the focus has not been on housing in the way it needs to be. We thank and congratulate five of our country’s newest senators for their leadership in pushing for decisive action to, in their words, ‘restore vigor to our nation’s slumping housing industry.’”

Last November, NAR presented a four-point plan developed to spur home sales and stem the rapid rise in foreclosures by lowering mortgage interest rates and unclogging the credit market, extending the home buyer tax credit, making the increased loan limits permanent, and increasing liquidity in the both the commercial and residential real estate market.

On Friday, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, N.H., Kay Hagan, N.C., Mark Udall, Colo., Tom Udall, N.M., and Mark Begich, Ark., called for their Senate colleagues to focus on housing in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, S. 1, and to expand the home buyer tax credit through the end of 2009. In a letter to their colleagues, the senators noted that the housing industry has long been the engine that drives our economy and recommended extending the tax credit until the end of 2009 to encourage aspiring and qualified home buyers to come off the sidelines and significantly reduce the nation’s high housing inventory.

NAR agrees with and supports the senators’ actions and vows to work with Congress and the administration to establish strong housing legislation that will help bring stability to home values, prevent foreclosures and put the U.S. economy on the road to recovery.

WASHINGTON, February 03, 2009