Despite a challenging year in many respects, 2011 was a year that reinforced the value of homeownership for families and communities across the country. Most Americans still believe in the American dream of owning their own home, and Realtors® remained actively engaged to ensure that housing and homeownership issues were first on the nation’s public policy agenda.
“We would describe 2011 as a rebuilding year, as well as one full of tremendous achievements,” said Louise Miller, President of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS. “The market is showing signs of improvement, and more than ever, people aspire to become homeowners. Throughout the past year Realtors® have worked hard to make sure everyone who is willing and able to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.”
In 2011 the National Association of Realtors® released data that showed a significant majority of today’s homeowners and renters agree owning a home is a smart long-term decision. In addition, more renters than ever before said they aspire to homeownership. Housing is also crucial to the local economy, according to the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS (GLAR).
“A typical home sale pumps a total of $60,000 into the economy over time,” said Miller. “The importance of the housing market in relation to our nation’s well-being couldn’t be more evident than it is right now.”
Realtors® helped reshape housing policies throughout 2011 on behalf of would-be home buyers, sellers and owners. On October 1, 2011, Congress allowed conforming loan limits to revert from 125% of the local area median home price to 115% of the local median home price. This meant fewer people had access to affordable mortgage loans. GLAR and its members, along with Realtors® across the country, successfully persuaded legislators to reinstate the higher loan limit formula. “This is significant for buyers and sellers in the Greater Louisville Area,” said Miller
In addition, Realtors® ensured that the National Flood Insurance Program was extended for an additional six months through May 31, 2012. NAR continues to work with members of Congress on a longer extension.
Looking toward 2012, Miller said there are several crucial issues ahead. Realtors® will be keeping an eye on efforts to reform the secondary mortgage market to ensure that future home buyers have access to affordable mortgage financing. Preserving the mortgage interest deduction will also remain a top priority for Realtors® this year.
“Homeownership matters to individuals, families and America,” said Miller. “In addition to helping people achieve their dreams of owning a home, Realtors® will continue to work tirelessly in 2012 to protect and sustain opportunities for responsible homeownership.”