Commentators, bloggers, and the Twitterverse have been abuzz with praise for the rousing speeches coming out of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week, culminating Thursday night with President Barack Obama accepting his party’s nomination. But now that the political festivities have come to a close, where did housing fall in the ranks of Democratic priorities?
Although not as prevalently spotlighted as jobs, healthcare, or education, housing—specifically the mortgage interest deduction (MID)—did receive a nod in Obama’s acceptance speech.
“I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut,” Obama said in his acceptance speech. In a jab at what Democrats see as a Republican platform that favors the wealthy, Obama said, “I want to reform the Tax Code so that it’s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000—the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president, the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a whole lot of millionaires to boot.” Continue reading »
Representatives from the National Association of REALTORS® were in attendance at both the DNC and RNC, appearing and speaking at various real estate-related forums in support of housing issues.
During the North Carolina and Charlotte REALTOR® associations’ breakfast Wednesday welcoming member delegates, First Vice President Steve Brown of Dayton, Ohio, celebrated the increasing strength of real estate markets nationwide. With five consecutive months of sales increases, home sales are currently up 10.4 percent over last year, he said.
“This is the first time we’ve seen five consecutive months of sales increases since 2006,” Brown said. “So if anyone asks you, ‘Are we better off today than we were four years ago?’—even though I represent the REALTOR® Party, I’m here to tell you that yes, we are.”
Looking ahead at 2013, whether it’s Obama or Romney who wins the election, Brown was clear on the issues at hand for REALTORS®: distressed properties and releasing shadow inventory into the market, addressing tight lending standards, and preserving the mortgage interest deduction. Continue reading »