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RISMEDIA, June 14, 2007-Opening the doors to homeownership is a top priority for Florida Realtors(R)? and the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR). Realtors across the state and throughout the U.S. are joining forces to promote housing opportunities and the removal of barriers to homeownership in recognition of June 2007 as National Homeownership Month.

“As Realtors, it is our privilege to help people realize the American Dream of owning their own home, and right now is a great time to buy a Florida home,” says 2007 FAR President Nancy Riley. “Opening the door to homeownership helps families find security and stability. While buying a home is the biggest financial investment that most people make in their lifetime, it also gives us a sense of place. Our homes hold our memories,
our hopes and our dreams for the future.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida’s homeownership rate in 2006 and 2005 was 72.4%, a record level for the state. However, Florida Realtors continue to work to meet the challenges of helping more families and residents purchase a home of their own. In 2006, the national homeownership rate in the U.S. was 68.8%, according to the census.

Recognizing June as National Homeownership Month encourages everyone in the real estate and housing industries to promote homeownership as source of economic strength and to increase the ranks of homeowners, especially among minorities. President George W. Bush declared June as National Homeownership Month in 2002, with the goal of increasing minority homeownership in America by 5.5 million households by the end of the decade.

“Realtors don’t just sell homes, they build communities, and we are committed to making homeownership a reality for those who strive to achieve it,” said NAR President Pat V. Combs.

Riley notes that homeownership serves as a solid foundation for communities, instilling pride and a sense of belonging among individuals. Research on homeownership supports Realtors’ belief that homeownership provides a variety of tangible and intangible benefits to the community, the economy and the individual homeowner. For instance, studies have found that homeowners volunteer for political and charitable causes more frequently than renters do. Also, children whose parents own their own home tend to do better in school and to be better behaved; the greater stability of homeownership also has been found to be good for child development, according to recent research.

As part of National Homeownership Month, Realtors sponsor activities such as property improvements to aid the needy, essay contests centering on the theme of homeownership, financial counseling, home buyer fairs and neighborhood revitalization initiatives, to name just a few of the events going on nationwide. To help celebrate National Homeownership Month this year, NAR offers Realtors resources and tools to support homeownership and strong communities.

For more information, visit http://www.Realtor.org/homeownership.

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