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RISMEDIA, November 16, 2010—Realtors are ready to meet the challenges of the coming year head-on, according to Ron Phipps, 2011 National Association of Realtors president. Phipps shared his perspective and insights into some of the key issues facing the real estate industry in the coming year during the 2010 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

“As we make progress toward real estate and economic recovery, Realtors are focused on making sure that homeownership is both attainable and sustainable,” said Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “However, we know that the old way of doing things just won’t work. We need a new model for both government and the private market.”

As Realtors gathered in New Orleans, recent revelations regarding improper foreclosure procedures have created confusion and uncertainty in the market.

“This is a very serious problem,” said Phipps. “Homeowners must be reassured that, if they are facing foreclosure, the review process will be accurate and timely. Home buyers and investors must have confidence that the seller of any property is able to convey clear title. We urge lenders to assess the situation and correct any problems they identify, as soon as possible, to restore confidence in the system.”

Foreclosures and short sales currently represent about one-third of all existing-home sales. NAR is actively engaged in helping keep more owners in their homes, but when this is not possible, Realtors encourage a streamlined short sale process to help families avoid foreclosure. Toward this end, NAR has met with officials of top banks over the past few months to urge banking leaders to improve their loan modification and short sale processes.

Availability of mortgage credit is another pressing topic, and NAR has established a set of principles and recommendations that it believes should be the basis for GSE restructuring. The new secondary mortgage market model must ensure that mortgages are available and affordable, establish reasonable affordable housing affordability goals, ensure sufficient capital to support mortgage lending, require sound underwriting standards, and provide for rigorous oversight.

“NAR believes that everyone who wants to own a home and is able to afford one should be able to do so,” said Phipps. “That’s why we support measures that make mortgage credit available at reasonable costs to as many creditworthy home buyers as possible. Our goal is to help Congress and our industry design a secondary mortgage model that will serve America’s best interest today, and in the future.

“There’s a reason homeownership is called the American Dream. It benefits individuals and families, strengthens our communities, and is integral to our nation’s economy,” said Phipps. “In the coming year, Realtors will engage policymakers, government agencies and other industry leaders to reinvigorate the real estate market and restore confidence in that dream.”

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