The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo happens every May in Washington, D.C. The event is an opportunity for NAR members to take an active role to advance the real estate industry, including weighing in on important public policy issues. REALTORS® come for special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and an industry trade show, as well as to meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill and in executive agencies.
The 2016 meeting was a huge success, with some notable highlights:
Early in the week, NAR President Tom Salomone introduced U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who spoke to an audience of Realtors® on a range of issues.
In particular, Secretary Castro announced that NAR-backed changes to FHA condo regulations have left the HUD building and are pending approval at the Office of Management and Budget. He also discussed student debt and its effect on the housing market.
Later in the week, famed Washington Post Journalist Bob Woodward addressed a packed audience of Realtors®. Woodward discussed the 2016 elections, the current political climate, and the role of the media.
At the “NAR 360” event, Realtors® in attendance had an opportunity to hear from members of NAR’s leadership on the latest in the consumer ad campaign. They also got a look at the Realtor® integration with the ABC hit show, “Modern Family.”
On Wednesday, agents came together to voice their concerns over FHA appraisal policies and discuss ways to avoid confusion and delays in transactions.
Realtors® also got a briefing from NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, who offered his economic forecast for the housing market. Yun called current homebuyers the “luckiest in generation” when it comes to interest rates, but cited student debt, inventory, and rising costs as lingering hurdles to homeownership.
Senator Elizabeth Warren was among the Conference’s distinguished speakers, entering the main hall to a standing ovation. She encouraged Realtors® to get involved on the student debt issue, telling them that they’re on the front lines to strengthen the middle class.
To wrap up the week, Realtor® Cynthia Shafer accepted a plaque on behalf of NAR from U.S. Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez. The award was given as part of a visit to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and was given in recognition of Realtors®’ commitment to rural housing.
For more on the Conference and the meetings that occurred, visit the main Legislative Meetings and Expo page at Realtor.org.