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Realtors® Support Legislation for Comprehensive GSE Reform

Media Contact: Sara Wiskerchen / 202-383-1013 / Email

WASHINGTON (June 8, 2011) - The National Association of Realtors® supports comprehensive reform of America’s housing finance market that protects taxpayers and ensures the availability of affordable mortgage credit today and into the future.

“As the leading advocate for home ownership and housing issues, NAR believes that a methodical, measured and comprehensive approach for reforming the secondary mortgage market is in the best interest of home buyers and taxpayers,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “A comprehensive and effective mortgage reform strategy is critical to help keep a level of certainty in the marketplace and not further disrupting the still fragile housing market recovery.”

NAR supports the objectives of H.R. 1859, the “Housing Finance Reform Act of 2011,” introduced last month by Reps. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.). The bill takes a comprehensive approach for reforming the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“While NAR has concerns with some aspects of the legislation, we strongly support the bill’s comprehensive approach to reforming the secondary mortgage market and greatly appreciate the efforts of Reps. Campbell and Peters to protect the affordable 30-year fixed rate mortgage, shield taxpayers from unnecessary additional bailouts, and ensure the availability of mortgage capital to all markets under all economic conditions,” Phipps said.

NAR opposes the piecemeal approach of recent proposals that would quickly constrain or shut down existing secondary mortgage market facilities before identifying a viable replacement that would allow securitization to function under all market conditions.

“We believe that a fully private system is not a viable or sustainable alternative to the existing housing finance system and will severely restrict mortgage capital, raise costs for qualified, creditworthy homebuyers, and place taxpayers at greater risk as too-big-to-fail government-backed financial institutions dominate the market,” Phipps said. “NAR looks forward to working closely with Congress; the time has come to have a serious discussion about comprehensive reform of our nation’s housing finance system.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.