June is Homeownership Month, when we celebrate the cornerstone of the American Dream.
REALTORS® strive to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to achieve homeownership, but prospective buyers are facing more barriers now than ever before. From testifying before Congress to joining forces with our industry partners, NAR is committed to putting homeownership in reach for more people.
NAR President Kenny Parcell made the case for homeownership in a column for Kiplinger this month. As he outlined, homeownership builds financial security and can drastically help people improve their net worth. The net worth of a typical homeowner is nearly 40 times the net worth of a non-owner.
Home equity and retirement accounts represent over 60% of households’ net worth. And over the last decade, middle-income homeowners have accumulated $122,000 in wealth due to price appreciation alone.
However, a historic 50-year record shortage of affordable homes available for purchase has severely limited access to the residential real estate market.
There are currently 280,000 homes listed for sale that middle-income families can afford to buy, a marked decline from 450,000 homes in 2019. For middle-income households, there is only one affordable listing for every 125 households, a stark decrease from one listing for every 46 households in 2019.
NAR is working closely with the Biden administration, Congress, and our industry partners to address these supply and affordability constraints.
In early 2022, following a landmark NAR report sounding the alarm on the supply crisis, the White House submitted a historic funding request for affordable housing. Throughout the year, NAR met multiple times with White House officials and testified before Congress on these issues.
Our commitment to unlocking homeownership continues in 2023:
- Following robust advocacy by NAR, Vice President Kamala Harris and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced in February a reduction in mortgage insurance premiums by 30 basis points.
- NAR held a Policy Forum in March focused on the current housing market and impacts on aspiring home buyers.
- NAR President Kenny Parcell testified before a U.S. House panel in May about the FHFA’s new loan level pricing adjustments (LLPA) fee increase on borrowers with fair to good credit profiles.
- With significant urging from NAR, the FHFA rescinded its proposed LLPA upfront fee on borrowers with debt-to-income ratios greater than 40 percent that was slated to go into effect August 1.
In early May, thousands of REALTORS® descended on Washington, D.C., and shared with policymakers a comprehensive list of legislative priorities to improve access to homeownership, including:
- Incentivizing more owners to sell their homes by increasing the maximum amount of capital gains a homeowner can exclude on the sale of a principal residence and annually adjusting it for inflation.
- Attracting private investment for building and rehabilitating owner-occupied homes by offering tax credits that create a pathway to neighborhood stability through sustainable homeownership.
- Incentivizing the conversion of unused commercial buildings to residential and mixed-use properties.
- Creating incentives for housing provider participation in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher program, and reauthorizing and increasing funding for HUD fair housing enforcement programs.
With our industry partners, NAR is working to substantially narrow racial and ethnic homeownership gaps:
- NAR is a founding member of the Black Homeownership Collaborative and supports the 3by30 initiative, with the goal of adding three million net new Black homeowners by 2030.
- NAR advocates with our partners for inclusive communities and more affordable housing options, including joining a coalition of housing groups in support of HUD’s proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule.