Browse Tag: bill armstrong

NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong Podcast: 2013 Look-Ahead


National Assciation of Realtors, Washington, D...
NAR Offices, Washington DC

NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong’s 2013 look-ahead podcast summarizes 2012’s achievements for commercial REALTORS® while at the same time looks into the tea leaves for 2013.  The highlights:

  • Amid modestly improving commercial market fundamental, NAR expects vacancy rates to decline in all 4 major commercial sectors – office, retail, industrial, multifamily.
  • In June 2012 NAR was able to successfully gain a full year extension for the National Flood Insurance Program. This program provides access to affordable flood insurance for millions including many business owners.  It’s the culmination of a successful multiyear campaign, and means business owners will continue to have acces to the flood insurance and not be forced to take their chances in the virtually nonexistent private flood insurance market.
  • NAR made significant progress on lease accounting issues in 2012 by holding back a rules proposal from the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the IASB.  The proposed rules would have forced the frontloading of assets and liabilities arising from lease contreacts. Ultimately, this would hurt the bottom line of many businesses, especially in commercial real estate. NAR  built a strong coalition of  other industrial organizations and we got many members of Congress to contact FASB and IASB to ask them to reconsider their proposal.  Because of NAR’s actions the two accounting boards listened and withdrew the proposed rules.  “We plan to keep ourselves in the middle of the conversation on lease accounting rules as it takes place,” said Bill
  • Because tight lending has been hurting the CRE market. NAR has been working vigorously to regularly meet on Capitol Hill to reiterate the need to increase liquidity in the marketplace  NAR continues to beat the drum and encourage new sources of capital. One example is increased lending by credit unions. Friend to NAR,  Senator Mark Udall (CO) introduced a bill will increase the cap on credit union member business lending from 12.25% to 27.5% percent of total assets for well-capitalized credit unions. NAR will continue to urge the switft passage of this legislation.

What can NAR commercial members expect in 2013? NAR action in the following areas and more:

  • Bill said lease accounting rules could be taken up again in this year’s second quarter.
  • Congress may also vote to extend the Transaction Account Guarnatee Program for two years.  This program will help to increase liquidity available to community banks.

2012 also brought exciting new member benefits, said Bill.

  • In November,  we saw the launch of the RPR Commercial application.  “I truly believe it is a valuable benefit for our members. It gives REALTORS and only REALTORS an edge when viewing and searching properties, viewing property detail, analyzing markets and creating reports for your clients all in one place. I urge you to see it all for yourself at blog.narrrpr.com/commercial.”
  • 2012 marked NAR’s new partnership with Xceligent “This will provide a suite of commercial real estate info services and preferred pricing exclusively for NAR members.  For the first time, REALTORS in the commercial sector will have a prowerful alternative to when it comes to how you research and market properties.
  • 2012 saw the merger of the REALTORS Federal Credit Union with Northwest Federal Credit Union. They offer vitral banking, plus access to 4600 brick-and-mortar service centers and thousands of  ATMs nationwide.  They have money to lend at extremely comepetitive rates for owner-occupied CRE.  To join online today go to realtorsfcu.org

 

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Latest NAR Commercial Podcast From Bill Armstrong

Picture of NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong
Bill Armstrong, NAR Treasurer

The latest podcast on NAR Commercial Real Estate issues from Treasurer Bill Armstrong covers:

Market Improvement

The Commercial Real Estate 2Q Market Suvey shows market is stable and even improving in some areas of country.  The survey provides an overview of market performance, sales and rental transactions.

Top Obstacle: Lending VS. Recovery

REALTOR®s define financing as the biggest obstacle in the marketplace now, followed closely by pricing.  Despite these challenges, 7 in 10 commercial REALTORS® clsoed sales transactions during the second quarter.   Sales volume grew 12% from a year ago and leasing activity is up 4% from pervious quarter.
This dovetals with May’s CRE Lending Survey; 75% mentioned lending standards are as stringent as or more stringent than a year ago.  Adding to tight underwriting, down payment conditions also require hefty commitment; 72% of closed sales required a down payment above 20% to secure financing.

NAR Advocacy For Commercial Is Ongoing: FASB, Basel III, EB-5 Visas

Bill mentioned NAR is advocating for better lease accounting rules that will enable increased borrowing. NAR’s efforts have resulted in the FASB and IASB reexamining the potential economic outcomes of their proposed rule that would force many companies to capitalize commercial leases on to their balance sheets.

This month, NAR regulators to study potential impact on real estate of international capital and liquidity requirements for banks known as Basel III that require them to hold more capital back rather than making it available to lend.  While their goals are commendable, said Armstrong,  NAR supports efforts to ensure that Basel III foes not reduce liquidity.

This month, NAR joined a broader coalition of  of real estate organizations asking Congress to support legislation that would re-authorize the EB-5 Visa.  This provides visas to individuals overseas who invest in commercial enterprises and ceate jobs in targeted areas across the us.

NAR continues to push for legislation to increase liquidity in other ways. including raising the lending cap on credit unions.  Also by creating a covered bond market and supporting the extension of the SBA’s commercial refi loan program, set to expire on September 27.

NAR Code Of Ethics Training Due December 31st; Centennial of COE in ’13

Bill reminded us to not forget that 2012 is also the year to complete NAR Code Of Ethics training, which comes up every four years.  You have until December 31st to complete it. NAR’s COE is one of the things that truly sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate licesnsees.   Asked Bill: “How many of you have done your training? I have and it’s pretty painless.” You can do the training thru your local association or online at realtor.org.

2013 also marks Centennial of NAR’s Code Of Ethics. The celebration of the centennial will kick off at the NAR Annual Conference and Expo, Nov 9-12 in Orlando. The celebration will continue  through 2013.

Photo credit: MackintoshRealtors.Com

 

Commercial Podcast: Flood Insurance Program Renewal Passes In DC

capitol hill

 

In the latest Commercial Podcast from NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong, news comes of the passage on Capitol Hill of the National Flood Insurance Program.  You can hear the cast, called “Flood Insurance Win” in its entirety here.

On June 29th, the Senate passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Bill, and President Obama signed it into law on July 9th. This is a  culmination of years of steady effort by NAR members and its legislative team, including  a final push at NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings and REALTOR® Rally.

The years of temporary extensions to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were by definition unable to offer protections to commercial property markets, and in fact led twice to shutdowns, including one that stalled more than 40,000 real estate transactions requiring flood insurance for financing in June 2010 alone.

Reauthorization of NFIP means stakeholders will no longer need to take their chances in the virtually nonexistent market for private flood insurance. There are 21,000 communities across the US that require flood insurance as a financing prerequisite, and the passage of the bill ensure that 5.6 million business and home owners will have access to the coverage they need.

The bill addresses not just the coverage but also sources of the problem in the market.  It has provisions for more accurate flood plain mapping so that the industry can better target where flood insurance is required and where it is not.  Also included are provisions for a more streamlined process for challenging the accuracy of the flood plain map in use by the federal government in a business’s area of operation.

Biggert-Waters ensures that taxpayers will spend less for federal assistance for flood disasters over the long run.  You can be sure NAR will carefully monitor the program’s new implementation and be on the lookout for reforms as needed to protect commercial property owners.

Listen to Bill’s podcast here.

 

(Photo credit: Kynan Tait)

 

 

 

NAR’s Bill Armstrong On Commercial Issues

Photo of the 2012 Realtor Rally in Washington DC
Realtor Rally 2012: Are you in there? Let us know!

NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong’s latest podcast is (as always) worth a listen.  Summing up the month’s developments in the wake of the Realtor Rally and the specific effects to the commercial market of NAR’s legislative outreach, Bill mentions some new interactive opportunities for members:

  • At RealtorRally.org, there’s an awesome 360-degree photograph of the thousands of Realtors gathered in Washington in May at NAR’s RealtorⓇ Rally.  If you were among the 14 thousand+ in attendance at this historic event and defining moment for our industry, you can find yourself in the photo and tag yourself, and share the tag on Facebook or Twitter.  Just head over to RealtorRally.org and let us know You Were There!
  • The Rally gathered press coverage from over 25 major media outlets, Congress people attended from districts all over the country, and Congress heard us loud and clear on the following specific commercial RE issues:
  • Further extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Floods are not just a coastal issue; flood disasters have been declared in all fifty states, and commercial properties are affected no less than residential. During NAR’s visit to the Hill, the Senate was urged to take up a five-year NFIP reauthorization measure.
  • Liquidity in the multifamily property market was addressed by NAR asking our reps to expand small business lending, and to create a covered bond market.  Expanding access to credit is critical to allowing our economy to once again thrive.
  • Bill also gave us a shout-out here at The Source and announced the new partnership between NAR and Xeligent to provide the technology behind CommercialSource.com – delivering expanded public search capability and market information beyond what is available today.

Check out Bill’s whole podcast here.