COLUMBIA, S.C. – May 20, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — South Carolina REALTORS® (SCR) was among more than 8,000 Realtors® in Washington, D.C., last week advocating to keep housing first on our nation’s public policy agenda during the National Association of Realtors® 2011 Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. SCR members and leadership also met with policymakers on Capitol Hill to address today’s real estate challenges.
The year’s meetings encouraged Realtors® to seize the day and come to the aid of the real estate industry as well as the nation’s 75 million home owners and aspiring home owners. Various sessions focused on the impact of the 112th Congress and its agenda on the real estate industry, the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, mortgage availability and accessibility, as well as the current state of the residential and commercial real estate markets.
“The current economic environment has led some to question the value of home ownership, and as Realtors® it is our duty to make sure the dream of home ownership is available and accessible to all those willing to take on the responsibility of being a home owner,” said SCR CEO, Nick Kremydas. “As the leading advocate for private property rights, home ownership and housing issues, Realtors® are committed to keep housing first in the halls of Congress as well as in communities across the country.”
While in Washington, SCR members and leadership met with Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, and Representatives Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney, Jim Clyburn, Jeff Duncan, Tim Schott and Joe Wilson on Capitol Hill, to address pressing issues related to today’s housing market, particularly those related to the access and opportunity of home ownership for Americans. Among the challenges discussed were ensuring affordable mortgage products for potential home owners, reforming the secondary mortgage market so that a continual flow of mortgage liquidity is available in all markets, and preserving tax benefits for home ownership, specifically the mortgage interest deduction. Members also urged policymakers to support requirements and practices to streamline short sales.
“Realtors® gathered on Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and press upon them the value of home ownership for Americans,” said SCR President, Rusty Garrett. “It is imperative that we continue to communicate to our local representatives that home ownership matters to individuals, families, communities and our nation’s economy.”
Throughout the week Realtors® participated in sessions with a number of government officials and industry experts, including representatives from the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, Center for Responsible Lending, and the National Urban League. During the meetings, Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, John D. Trasvina, presented the state of the multicultural real estate markets and the 2011 HOPE Awards (Home Ownership Participating for Everyone) winners. CNBC real estate reporter, Diana Olick moderated a symposium about mortgage liquidity. Panelists, including David H. Stevens, former Federal Housing Administration Commissioner and incoming president and chief executive officer for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, offered perspectives on the current state of the industry and identified challenges impacting the availability and accessibility of mortgage financing.
SCR members and leadership also had the chance to explore the latest industry innovations and stay up to date on how new products are transforming the real estate business, as more than 120 exhibitors showcased the newest real estate products and services for the industry during the Trade Expo.
South Carolina REALTORS® (SCR) is the largest professional trade association in the state, serving as the voice of real estate for more than 14,000 members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a professional in real estate who subscribes to a strict code of ethics as a member of SCR and the National Association of REALTORS®.
Sharon Delia 803.772.5206