On Thursday, January 12th, Dr. Ben Carson testified before the Senate Banking Committee as the nominee for the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. During the hearing, Dr. Carson defended the critical role of the FHA mortgage insurance program. He also spoke about the importance of the American Dream of homeownership. Following the hearing, NAR sent a letter of support to the Banking Committee urging them to approve his nomination and move the vote to the Floor. The letter also notes Dr. Carson clear understanding of the key role that housing plays in the health of... Read More
On January 9, 2017, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it would reduce FHA annual mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) by 25 basis points. This reduction is a victory for the National Association of REALTORS® whose members have called for lower fees on FHA loans given the ongoing strength of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which exceeded the required reserve ratio for the second year in a row.
The premium reduction will be effective for most new mortgages with a closing/disbursement date on or after January 27, 2017 (excluding Section 247 Loans,... Read More
On October 28, 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed to raise its standards for FHA insurance in high risk flood zones. Currently new homes must be built to the 100-year or base flood elevation (BFE) but the agency is proposing to add two feet for floodplain new construction or substantial rehabilitation. While NAR is open to considering a more conservative construction standard to reduce flood insurance rates and avoid other flood-related issues with selling property down the road, NAR does not believe the agency has met its analytical responsibilities under... Read More
On November 7, 2016, several Federal agencies (including the Federal Reserve and FDIC) jointly proposed to ease their regulations of private flood insurance. NAR generally supports clarification so lenders may accept private market options in addition to the National Flood Insurance Program. While supportive of the overall approach, NAR urged the agencies to go further and adopt the Flood Insurance Market Modernization and Parity Act (HR 2901 by Reps. Ross (R-FL) and Murphy (D-FL)), which passed the House 419-0 but was not taken up by the Senate in the last session of Congress. The bill... Read More
Supported by NAR, on January 5th the U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act," H.R. 26.
The bill would require congressional approval of federal regulations with an estimated annual economic impact of more than $100 million. This Act will add transparency and accountability to the regulatory process.
Two amendments were adopted: The first would require each agency promulgating a new rule to identify and... Read More