On November 28, 2016, NAR submitted a comment letter to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) regarding proposed changes to FHA Condominium certification requirements. Many of the proposed changes align with areas REALTORS® have expressed a need for more lenience and reflects NAR advocacy on these matters. The NAR letter specifically asks FHA to:
- Remove the strict requirement on owner-occupancy levels, with a minimum of implementing HR 3700 standard of allowable 35% owner-occupancy without additional requirements;
- Allow 100 percent FHA loan concentration in buildings;
- Allow up to 45 percent commercial space without documentation and implement HR 3700 requirement allowing lenders to approve waivers and consider local conditions;
- Bring back spot-loan approval;
- Increase certification periods and allow for updates to information for re-certification purposes; and
- Support for new transfer fee requirement allowing beneficial transfer fees connected to condominiums.
NAR expects FHA to release the final rule in spring 2017.
NAR Priorities for 2017: The 115th Congress was sworn in on January 3, 2017. Regulatory reform, tax reform, National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization and housing finance reform (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are NAR’s priorities for the year.
NAR says the Trump Transition Team along with the Republican Congressional leadership intends to use a legislative vehicle called Budget Reconciliation to move tax reform. NAR is engaged with key members of the tax writing committees in the House and Senate, on both sides of the aisle, to outline its positions on tax reform. In essence, NAR wants to protect the mortgage interest deduction, but also supports simplifying the tax code. It opposes changes to 1031 exchanges. More information on NAR’s position is available here: http://tinyurl.com/hyz3lzp