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2008-05-22 13:45:26

REALTORS: Stimulus Bill Is Step Toward Housing Market Stabilization

Washington, DC, May 22, 2008 - The National Assn. of REALTORS® expressed appreciation to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Ranking Member Richard Shelby, R-Ala., for their efforts to bring forth a bipartisan bill that can bring stability to the housing market and help stem the rising rate of foreclosures. Yesterday, the committee voted to pass the Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008.

"Our 1.2 million REALTOR® members appreciate the hard work and commitment of the Senate Banking Committee in advancing legislation that will help people buy and keep their homes," said NAR President Richard Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif.

NAR expressed ongoing support for all the major features in the housing package passed earlier this month by the U.S. House of Representatives, and for the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and Federal Housing Administration foreclosure prevention measure included in the Senate bill.

“We are pleased with the overall direction of this bill," Gaylord said. "As Senators Dodd and Shelby noted, this legislation is good for both the housing market and the homeowner. However, we continue to strive for permanent increases to the conforming loan limits at the higher level passed by the House. This truly would be good for current and future homeowners."

REALTORS® have long advocated reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as permanent loan limit increases for the GSEs and FHA. "This legislation, reforming the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and creating a refinancing program designed to stem foreclosures, should help thousands of families refinance existing mortgages and keep their homes," said Gaylord.

"We look forward to working with the House and Senate to finalize an aggressive bill that will ensure that every American who can afford to own a home and aspires to do so will have that opportunity, and that every American who responsibly owns a home is able to keep it," said Gaylord.

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