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2008-02-08 17:13:00

NAR Hails Passage of Economic Stimulus Package

The National Assn. of REALTORS® congratulated the U.S. Congress for quickly passing a national economic stimulus package and thanked President George W. Bush for his leadership and willingness to promptly enact legislation that will help thousands of families, the housing market, and the U.S. economy.

“We believe the economic stimulus bill that Congress sent to the president today is strong legislation that will quickly impact the nation’s families and economy,” said NAR President Richard Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, CA. “We are pleased that both the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE) loan limits have been increased, even if only temporarily. This will be a major stimulus for the housing industry and for people who want to own a home.”

Increasing FHA loan limits will help an additional 138,000 Americans achieve the dream of homeownership and will allow nearly 200,000 homeowners to refinance and potentially keep their home, according to NAR research. In addition, NAR believes that increasing the loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will bolster the severely stressed housing finance market by immediately infusing much needed liquidity into the nation’s mortgage market. “While such an increase will not solve the full range of housing challenges, it will play a vitally important role in improving the nation’s economy and making the dream of homeownership more attainable for thousands,” said Gaylord.

An economic impact study conducted by NAR earlier this month estimated that increasing the GSEs’ conforming loan limits would result in as many as 500,000 refinanced loans and could help reduce foreclosures by as much as 210,000. In addition, over 300,000 additional home sales could be generated, housing inventory would be reduced and home prices would be strengthened by two to three percentage points. “These are real results and will have an immediate and sustainable impact for families across our country,” said Gaylord.

The National Assn. of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate industries. NAR is the leading advocate for homeownership, affordable housing and private property rights.

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