March was very active on the legislative front at all levels of government.
A lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Illinois against the National Association of REALTORS® and four large brokerage companies alleging that the defendants conspired to restrain price competition among buyer brokers via promulgation of NAR’s MLS rules. The complaint is baseless and has no merit. NAR is currently conferring with outside counsel on strategy and we will keep you abreast of developments.
When asked by the media for a comment, NAR shared the following official statement:
The complaint is baseless and contains an abundance of false claims. The U.S. Courts have routinely found that Multiple Listing Services are pro-competitive and benefit consumers by creating great efficiencies in the home-buying and selling process. NAR looks forward to obtaining a similar precedent regarding this filing. – Mantill Williams, VP of Communications, National Association of REALTORS®
The White House has announced it’s desire to move Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship. NAR President John Smaby release the following statement: “REALTORS® are encouraged to see conversations surrounding GSE reform intensifying in Washington, particularly with the White House today directing the U.S. Treasury to outline plans for how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be removed from conservatorship. While NAR believes the GSEs must be transitioned out of conservatorship, this must be done in a responsible manner that will protect taxpayers and retain the Enterprises’ public mission, and these actions must be driven by Congress. This is the only way to secure an explicit government guarantee, a public mission, and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, which are critical components of a robust U.S. housing market. That point will remain NAR’s primary focus as we continue GSE reform conversations with the Senate, House and the administration.”
Things in Columbus are beginning to heat up as the states budget was unveiled. It was presented as House Bill 166, sponsored by Rep. Scott Oleslager (R-North Canton) who chairs the Ohio House Finance Committee. Ohio REALTORS® Director of Government Affairs Beth Wanless notified members that House Bill 166 includes proposed fee increases for license renewals, reactivations and applications for Ohio real estate brokers and agents.
Details can be found by clicking here.
In February’s State of the City address, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley outlined a plan to establish a task force whose aim would be to reduce evictions within the city. This past month she followed through by announcing the formation of the task force, which includes 2019 Ohio REALTORS® President AJ Frye. Mayor Whaley’s efforts are a result from several Dayton Daily News reports and Princeton University’s Eviction Lab that highlight the issue. The Dayton Daily News previously reported that since 2012 there had been 12,000 evictions filed in Dayton Municipal Court. This report coincides with Princeton University’s Eviction Lab that ranks the city of Dayton 26th in the country for evictions.
Also in March, Dayton REALTORS® partnered with the city of Centerville to organize a real estate round table. The forum gave the city a chance to show it’s vision for the city and allow REALTORS® to participate and give feedback to the plan. More forums in other communities will be announced in the coming weeks.