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Illustration of United States real-estate developmentThere are many signs of strength in the real estate market driving consumers today and looking ahead to 2016, the National Association of REALTORS® aims to maintain the momentum by staying focused on legislation and preserving key tax provisions that will continue supporting its consumers, said 2016 NAR President Tom Salomone in his Presidential Agenda held at the 2015 National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

“We’re fighting to keep all the tax provisions related to real estate the way they are. We continue to support the Mortgage Debt Tax Relief Act that expired in 2014. It’s critical to support families, and NAR hopes to see the measure renewed and retroactive to January 1 of this year,” said Salomone.

While NAR will continue to work closely with the CFPB to make sure that rules that went into effect in October are being carried out, Salomone ensured that the work at NAR goes far beyond Washington. NAR will continue to make sure REALTORS® have the info, knowledge and tools to help clients achieve the dream of homeownership.

“REALTOR® members are the driving force helping people achieve that dream,” said Salomone. “We are even prouder that the work of a REALTOR® doesn’t stop at the closing table. We’re committed members of our communities, putting in tens of thousands of hours of service each year.”

NAR will continue to encourage members to get involved and give back in those communities, as part of its 2016 partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. As the premiere youth-serving organization in the U.S., Boys & Girls Clubs have doors open to youth in communities across the country, serving as a “home away from home” for nearly four million children each year after school and in the summer. With this new partnership, Salomone is enthusiastic about NAR’s efforts to give back and make a difference.

“We’re involved in our communities like no other profession and we’re going to help kids. We have REALTORS® across the country bringing some of the older kids into their offices and sometimes paying them to file and learn how to deal in the business world. It’s just the right thing to do in our communities,” said Salomone.

Millennials will also remain a top priority in real estate heading into the new year. According to NAR’s generational survey, Salomone said millennials make up 32 percent of homebuyers in America. “Reaching out to young homebuyers will be a priority for NAR as we continue to highlight the benefits of homeownership and having a REALTOR® by [the clients’] side every step of the way.”

Student debt will still be a major reason why lots of younger people are renting – not because they want to be renting, but “because their student debt throws their ratios out of whack with their banks,” said Salomone. Looking forward, NAR will continue to work with the banks to talk about what their qualifying requirements are going to be.

In terms of membership going into 2016, Salomone reports that NAR will reach 1.2 million members soon, seeing a steady, even growth across the country, not just in pockets. In addition, a plethora of younger professionals continue coming to the table to help buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. “We have lots of younger members joining our Young Professionals Network, which has been growing and growing each year. It’s always nice to infuse an organization with young thoughts, young blood, energy and passion. We’re really proud of that right now,” said Salomone.

Another aspect of the business experiencing a healthy boost is new construction starts. In addition to more property growing the nation’s inventory base, this upbeat shows that some of the lending institutions across the country are getting less stringent on home builders and developers are getting financing, says Salomone.

“There are signs of progress on all fronts as the industry continues to grow and innovate. I’m pleased to serve as NAR’s 2016 president and look forward to great things ahead.”

For more post-event coverage from last week’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo, stay tuned to www.rismedia.com.

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