SOURCE: National Association of Realtors

National Association of Realtors

February 14, 2009 07:10 ET

Realtors® Advocate Quick Implementation of Stimulus Package

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - February 14, 2009) - Now that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been sent to President Obama for his signature, the National Association of Realtors® is looking forward to swift implementation.

"We are pleased that Congress and the administration have taken prompt action to address the current economic crisis," said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Dallas-Fort Worth. "Job creation and tax cuts are going to help families recover and prosper, and these initiatives will help more people keep their homes and help others become homeowners."

An economic recovery is not possible without a housing recovery, and the legislation contains two important housing provisions championed by NAR. The final stimulus bill increases the first-time home buyer tax credit to $8,000 and eliminates the repayment requirement of earlier legislation. In addition, the credit availability has been extended until December 1.

"These important provisions will help bring first-time home buyers to the market and reduce housing inventory," said McMillan. NAR estimates that the home buyer tax provisions could stimulate up to 300,000 additional home sales, helping stabilize home values and potentially preventing some homeowners from being "underwater" on their mortgage, which can often lead to foreclosure.

The bill also reinstates the 2008 higher loan limits for FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "These higher loan limits are important to make mortgages affordable regardless of where you live. This will also help reduce inventory and improve liquidity in the overall mortgage market," McMillan said.

NAR commended President Obama and Congress for including resource allocation for neighborhood stabilization efforts to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed and vacant properties. This funding will protect communities across the country and preserve home values from further decline. Realtors® also praised the provision to help America's wounded warriors who need to move or relocate.

NAR's housing policy agenda also includes better foreclosure mitigation efforts and lower interest rates for homeowners and buyers. These components in support of a housing recovery are expected to be addressed in the coming days.

NAR pledged to continue to work with President Obama, Congress and the regulators to make housing stabilization a key component of any federal recovery plans.

"NAR will continue representing Americans who are trying to purchase a home, protect their current home or preserve investment opportunities in residential and commercial properties. We believe that positive steps are being taken to improve the housing market, and it is important that we keep moving forward with our efforts," McMillan said.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at This and other news releases are posted in the Web site's "News Media" section in the NAR Media Center.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.

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