Your clients may have many questions about the impact of the election on the US economy, and the North Texas market in particular. We’ve been speaking with NAR’s Deputy Chief Lobbyist to get a feel for what’s going on in DC and how it will impact us here in Texas. Here are some key ideas for you to help you calm any fears your clients may have about entering the housing market in 2017.
Any changes will take time to implement. For most buyers, the biggest concern is obtaining an affordable mortgage. While the pundits are busy speculating about changes to the CPB, Dodd Frank, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the mortgage interest deduction, any change to these laws, codes and institutions will require congressional approval. In other words, nothing is going to change quickly. Remember that potential increases to the federal interest rate have been discussed for a few years and any changes will likely be incremental and cautious. Interest rates will likely rise as the economy has been showing growth for some time now, and current economic indicators don’t show any changes to that path. And Texans have even more reason for reassurance: there are strong indications that several key roles will be filled by Texans who will want to protect our local economies.
REALTORS are working to protect consumers. Our policy focus in 2017 will be concentrated in three main areas. First, congress needs to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, which expires at the end of September. The NFIP provides flood insurance, manages floodplains, and develops maps of flood hazard zones, and its budget relies on congressional approval. As REALTORS, we want to ensure that the program requirements are written with the best interest of homeowners in mind.
Our second major policy focus will be to keep an eye on tax reform. We will be watchful and active in the areas of protecting the mortgage interest deduction and state and local property tax deductions for homeowners. On the commercial side, we want to protect the 1031 exchange to protect business interests.
Our third area of interest is to be proactive in terms of housing finance reform. We want to ensure that if the current system including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are dismantled, then whatever replaces it needs to still include some sort of federal guarantees of the secondary market, and that it retains some profits to cushion against market fluctuations. The strength of the mortgage industry and the ability for consumers to obtain mortgages must be at the forefront of any policies enacted.
You can assure your clients that REALTORS are working hard in Washington, Austin, and right here in Dallas to ensure that their interests are heard by lawmakers. You can find out more at http://www.realtoractioncenter.com.