Top News Of The Week

– REALTORS® Urge Reform of NFIP
– Fed: No More Rate Hikes This Year
– Builder Confidence Steady, With Some Cautions
– Top Banker Sees Healthy Housing Market
– Steady Mortgage Rates
– NAR Backs Bill to Give Fair Housing Act Protection to LGBT Community
– Elizabeth Warren’s Housing Plan
– Facebook Agrees to Steps to Limit Discrimination
– It’s The Best Week to List a Home
– RE/MAX and Redfin Now Have Exclusive Referral Relationship
– Washington Considers Bill to Help Ease Labor Shortage
– Why Home Buyers Move
– Painting Myths You Can Ignore


REALTORS® Urge Reform of NFIP
As Nebraska homeowners are reeling from record flooding, in Washington a House committee is taking up reauthorization and reform of the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP.

Among those testifying at a recent hearing was Mabél Guzmán, past president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®:

The NFIP will expire in May without Congressional reauthorization.

Fed: No More Rate Hikes This Year
Patience remains the keyword as the Federal Reserve has decided it will likely leave short-term interest rates where they are now, for the rest of 2019.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell spoke.

The Fed’s moves don’t directly affect mortgage rates, but can be a factor in determining the direction they take.

Builder Confidence Steady, With Some Cautions
Builder confidence is holding steady heading into the spring.

That, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

But NAHB CEO Jerry Howard said on Fox Business that we shouldn’t read too much into the numbers.

Builders also report that “negative media reports” about the housing market are making some potential buyers nervous.

Top Banker Sees Healthy Housing Market
The head of one of America’s largest banks is bullish on housing.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says mortgage activity is picking up, and he says “housing has a lot of investment ahead of it”.

Moynihan spoke on CNBC.

Steady Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates have held very steady recently, hitting a 14-month low a few days ago.

Mortgage Bankers Association Vice President Joel Kan said last week that interest rates have fallen, but…

And Bankrate reports that mortgage interest rates remain “much lower overall” than they were before the recession.

NAR Backs Bill to Give Fair Housing Act Protection to LGBT Community
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® says it supports a bill in Congress to expand Fair Housing Act protections to the LGBT community.

But not everyone in Congress agrees. California Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher recently drew fire for telling CNN it should be okay to refuse to sell a home to gays.

Years ago, NAR amended its Code of Ethics to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Elizabeth Warren’s Housing Plan
Senator Elizabeth Warren — one of more than a dozen Democrats running for President — has unveiled an affordable housing plan.

She explained in a video released by her campaign.

Warren would pay for her plan by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Facebook Agrees to Steps to Limit Discrimination
Facebook is making changes to its advertiser portal, to combat housing discrimination.

The company says it has reached a settlement with the National Fair Housing Alliance, the ACLU, and other groups.

The social network has been criticized by civil rights groups for allowing advertisers to, in effect, discriminate against certain groups by ” targeting” their ads to be shown only to certain people. Those “targeting” options will now be sharply limited.

It’s The Best Week to List a Home
If you’re ready to list your home for sale, do it this week.

According to a new analysis from REALTOR®.com, the very best week of the year to put a home on the market is March 31st through April 6th.

Researchers found that sellers who list this week get the quickest sales.

RE/MAX and Redfin Now Have Exclusive Referral Relationship
Two of the nation’s leading real estate brokerages — RE/MAX and Redfin — are forming a partnership.

Participating RE/MAX agents will now have exclusive access to customers who live in areas where Redfin.com currently does not promote any agents.

Washington Considers Bill to Help Ease Labor Shortage
Homebuilders are encouraged by a bill in Congress that could help ease the labor shortage.

The bill would establish a market-driven visa system, as Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Lloyd Smucker told FOX 43 News in Harrisburg.

Employers would have to prove they can’t find enough American workers for vacant positions.

Why Home Buyers Move
Why do American home buyers move? It may not be for the reason you first think of, a job change.

Figures from the Census Bureau reveal that over half of recent home buyers said they moved for a better home.

Almost half said they moved to get into a better neighborhood.

Only 14% said they moved for a job, and only 12% to reduce their commute.

Painting Myths You Can Ignore
Painting a room this spring?

Don’t be misled by some common myths about colors, say experts who spoke to REALTOR®.com.

For example, you’ve heard that dark paint can make a room look smaller. Actually, in some cases the opposite is true, says Colorado REALTOR® Ashley Blackmore. She says a dark color on an accent wall can make the home look much larger.

And you don’t have to paint all your trim white.

Morgan McBride of Charleston Crafted tells REALTOR®.com that extending your wall color to the trim, top and bottom, can make walls appear taller.

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