The Voice for Real Estate 87: GSEs, AHPs, Flood, Internet Taxes
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The Voice for Real Estate 87: GSEs, AHPs, Flood, Internet Taxes

For the first time, real estate professionals
are eligible for association health plans Flood insurance faces an expiration deadline And Washington turns its attention to the
future of mortgage finance These stories and more on The Voice for Real
Estate Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque of the National Association
of Realtors Big news out of Washington last week. The U.S. Department of Labor released a final
rule that – for the first time – makes independent contractors, like real estate professionals,
eligible to join an association health plan. Since the rule was proposed last year, NAR
worked with the department to make it work for real estate professionals. Here’s NAR’s Christie DeSanctis on why
the rule matters – and what you can expect. [QUOTE] A lot of work remains to be done, before the
plan becomes a reality. We’ll keep you up to date in the months
ahead. [SWOOSH] Have you responded to the NAR Call for Action
on flood insurance? Federal flood insurance—which is critical
for home sales in flood-risk areas—expires at the end of July. If it does, thousands of closings will stall
in more than 20,000 communities across America. NAR’s call for action went out last week. So please let your voice be heard. It only takes a minute to send letters to
your members of Congress. [SWOOSH] The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That was the focus as the country’s top
experts on public policy and mortgage financing, met at NAR’s Washington office last week. Now, as you know, Fannie and Freddie are important
to your business, because without them, 30-year, fixed-rate conventional mortgages would simply
not exist as we know them today. But’s been a decade since the mortgage crisis. A crisis that led to tighter mortgage rules—and
to the appointment of a conservator to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So, after 10 years of federal oversight – the
experts are asking – what next for Fannie and Freddie? [QUOTE] NAR is advocating for the continuation of
federal backing of safe, affordable mortgage financing. Because that is central to the health of housing
markets in the years to come. [SWOOSH] June is National Homeownership Month? Ever since 2006, the country has recogned
the importance of homeownership to America every June. But, hurdles for many potential homebuyers
remain, including housing discrimination. Here’s Margo Wheeler, managing broker at
John L. Scott Real Estate in Seattle, Wash., on challenges she’s faced when trying to
buy. [QUOTE] Wheeler and other Realtors talk about their
experiences and the need to keep breaking down barriers in a new Fair Housing Focus
video that commemorates the Fair Housing Act, which was enacted 50 years ago. [SWOOSH] And now a home sales update. For the second month in a row existing-home
sales are down. And that drop happened even though the economy
is growing at a fast clip and unemployment is at the lowest level in a decade. The reason for the drop? Home prices are on the rise, and that’s
creating challenges for buyers. Here’s NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. [QUOTE] Despite the dip in sales, there is a positive
sign: improvement in the number of homes available for sale. There are 1.85 million homes on the market
now, up from less than 1.5 million six months ago. Of course, inventory needs to go even higher. It’s still historically low, when compared
to demand. But if inventory keeps improving, home price
growth could relax and that could give wages a chance to catch up so potential buyers can
finally land a home of their own. [SWOOSH] That’s our show for the week of June 25. You can get more on everything we talked about
today at The Voice for Real Estate page on Thank you for joining us and be sure to visit
us again when we bring you the latest news in The Voice for Real Estate.

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