2017 News President's Report

RIAR President’s Report – November 2017

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We have a lot going on in the world of real estate this month!  Closing activity was up in the condo and multifamily home markets and despite a slight dip in single-family sales during the third quarter, single-family sales are up over last year since the beginning of the year.

The median price of single-family, multifamily and condo sales, also went up in all sectors since the third quarter of 2016; (8.2, 16.9 and 15.1 percent gains, respectively); a loud indicator that the market is still strong, and inventory is tight.

However, we need to be aware that tax reform could nullify these increases.  While the Senate bill preserves the deduction for mortgage interest of up to $1 million on first and second homes, it repeals the deduction for property taxes entirely.  It also eliminates or reduces other important property owner provisions like the deduction for moving expenses, rehabbing historic properties and interest on home equity loans, and stiffens the requirements for 1031 exchanges and capital gains exclusions. The latter two are particularly troublesome because property owners would not want to incur the tax burden if they were to sell a property which would yield a large, taxable gain and therefore our business could be significantly impacted.

A vote by the full Congress is expected by the end of the year. If you haven’t yet communicated with our congressional delegation about these devastating measures, please take the 10-20 seconds it takes to do so by clicking herezsaraqvsyuuzwyydzxrzbxtutcxxbxexrw.  It’s important for us to lobby hard to preserve the valuable benefits of home ownership.

On another note, the RI REALTOR Leadership Team participated in several training sessions and committee meetings at the NAR Conference in Chicago to learn about trends and issues that will impact our profession and clients.  It’s worth checking out some of this information at https://www.nar.realtor/educsess.nsf/ProgramsByDateAll?OpenForm. They’re well worth the time and money.

We also learned about some fantastic tools that are available to our associations and boards that can help us better serve our membership and consumers. And, as usual, the REALTOR Expo was full of vendors eager to sell valuable products and services to REALTORS. The REALTOR Conference is always a very valuable opportunity to increase your knowledge and increase your network of contacts.

Finally, as you know, the marketplace needs more listings so please call your old clients and hustle to get some business while interest rates are still at historic lows.  As I write this newsletter, the rate on a 30-year fixed rate purchase mortgage is 4 percent. It’s an excellent time to buy a home – even with the aforementioned increase in values.

If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at: [email protected].

Thank you for your time and dedication to our industry and have a great Thanksgiving.