US Capitol

Government Affairs Update – March 2020

Bob Jones General News, government affairs

Local Government Affairs

Dayton REALTORS® is supporting Willis Blackshear Jr. for the 39th State Representative District. Mr. Blackshear is an advocate for REALTORS® in Dayton and plans to work with the state legislature to secure funding for stronger schools in the city.

Dayton REALTORS® is working in partnership with the Dayton Home Builders Association, the Dayton Development Coalition, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, the city of Dayton, and the counties of Montgomery and Miami to commission a study to address low inventory for REALTORS® and the lack of mid-market housing for the workforce. The study will collect data on needs and obstacles for “workforce housing” in the region.

Dayton REALTORS®’ Global Committee will host a Workforce Housing Forum for local policy makers and business leaders to announce the results of the study above and to advocate for the creation of more mid-market housing in Dayton. The forum will be on October 23rd.

State Government Affairs

A major policy priority for Ohio REALTORS® is Senate Bill 139.  The First-Time Homebuyer Savings Act. SB 139 is sponsored by Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House). It would authorize a first-time homebuyer to open a tax-deductible savings account into which a person can deposit money with the goal of using it toward a down payment of a home. A “first-time homebuyer” is defined as someone who has not purchase or owned a home within the past three years. The money must be used toward the purchase of a home within 15 years, including closing costs and bank fees, otherwise a 10 percent penalty may apply. Anyone can open an account, and an account holder can have an account for themselves or for another person, such as a child, or grandchild. The First-Time Homebuyer Savings Act (FHSA) is presently STALLED in the Ohio Senate. HELP get the FHSA out of committee and to the Ohio Senate floor for a vote! CLICK HERE for more information on the First-Time Homebuyer Savings Act.

National Government Affairs Update

NAR Calls for Local Solutions to Address Housing Affordability Crisis
After the White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report last week warning America’s GDP growth is threatened by housing affordability constraints, National Association of REALTORS® President Vince Malta issued the following statement: “As from earlier this year outlined, regions across the country are seeing job growth impacted by housing affordability crises. Some of this is the result of misguided local policy that has inflated prices and prevented building, but the issue threatens to permeate deeper into our economy without action to address the problem more holistically.”

Existing-Home Sales Drop 1.3% in January
Existing-home sales declined in January, continuing a fluctuating pattern of monthly increases and declines, according to the National Association of REALTORS® recent existing-home sales report. Significant declines in the West region dragged down nationwide numbers, with the other three major U.S. regions reporting marginal – or no – changes last month. NAR’s latest quarterly report found that an overwhelming majority of metro areas experienced price gains while witnessing very minor increases in inventory in the final quarter of 2019. Properties typically remained on the market for 43 days in January, seasonally up from 41 days in December, but down from 49 days in January 2019. Forty-two percent of homes sold in January 2020 were on the market for less than a month.

NAR Announces Cyber Liability Insurance Program for REALTORS
On February 20, NAR announced a partnership with CyberPolicy® to deliver a new cyber liability insurance program designed to meet the unique needs of real estate professionals. As NAR continues to combat the escalating threat of fraud in the real estate industry by offering educational and preventative resources to members, the partnership will help REALTOR®-owned brokerages efficiently compare, quote and purchase quality cyber insurance plans from a select group of carriers who understand the unique needs of real estate professionals and offer exclusive NAR member benefits.