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