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Pending Home Sales Retreat 2.8% in January, but Climb From Last Year
Pending home sales took a step backward in January as inventory constraints continue to hold back prospective buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The South was the lone region with a modest gain from the month prior, while the other three major U.S. regions experienced month-over-month decreases in January. However, all four areas saw contract transactions increase from a year-over-year standpoint, including two regions reaching double-digit gains, spurring an all-time high for pending home sales in the month of January.
Realtors® Call for 2021 Applications for its Volunteering Works Grant and Mentoring Program
For 12 years, the National Association of Realtors® has given Realtors® who have demonstrated a commitment to public service an opportunity to enhance their charitable work through the Volunteering Works Grant and Mentoring Program. The program, which matches mentors with Realtors® who want to expand their community service outreach, is now seeking entries for 2021.
This year’s entry deadline is February 28, 2020. For a Volunteering Works entry form, visit nar.realtor/gna and click on “Nominate.” Applicants must be NAR members.
NAR Announces May Legislative Meetings Will Be Held Virtually in 2021
The National Association of Realtors® announced today that its REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo will be held virtually for the second straight year from May 3-14, 2021. Registration for the event will open on February 24. While approximately 9,000 Realtors® typically descend on Washington, D.C. for the conference every May, over 28,000 NAR members and real estate professionals participated in the first-ever virtual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in 2020.
"After careful consideration, the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo will be held virtually again this year," NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and the CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty, said in a video to NAR members on Friday afternoon. "Although this was a difficult decision – and one that we did not take lightly or without soliciting feedback from numerous members – our choice, in the end, was clear."
NAR’s Utility Model for Fannie, Freddie Garners Support
Placed under conservatorship in 2008, the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now at the center of a debate over their future and the next step in their evolution. On Thursday, the National Association of REALTORS® presented a refined version of its own proposal, first released as a white paper in February 2019—that the GSEs should be transformed into mortgage market utilities.
During a webinar Thursday, “The Future of the GSEs Webinar: Readying Fannie and Freddie for the Next Chapter,” NAR brought together policy, academic, and financial experts to discuss new research and to explore the benefits to consumers, taxpayers, and markets of NAR’s market utility option.
A utility would serve the dual objectives of creating competitive outcomes and achieving the charter goals of both Fannie and Freddie to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the mortgage market, said Ken Fears, senior policy representative at NAR. Fears is co-author of both the original NAR white paper and the update, titled "GSEs: Their Viability as Public Utilities."