Realtors® Applaud House Passage of Mortgage Choice Act

The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark., in support of legislation to ease regulatory burdens on mortgage lending:

Academic Connections to Shape the CCIM Institute for the Next 100 Years

Earning the CCIM, or Certified Commercial Investment Member, designation sets commercial real estate brokers and investors apart from their peers, while obtaining a master’s degree in real estate distinguishes individuals in the field. Now the Florida CCIM Chapter and the University of Central Florida are launching a pilot program that connects academic theory with current industry practice, and ethical and professional standards. This combination provides students with a strong foundation for both advanced investment analysis and real world portfolio management skills

Investment by Homeowners in Kitchen and Bathroom Design Continues

As the housing recovery continues, homeowners investment in their kitchens and bathrooms remains a key focus. Kitchens in particular have solidified their standing as the center of operations within the home. Residential architects also report very healthy business conditions at their firms

Rep. Ellison Introduces Mortgage Interest Deduction Reform Bill

Last week, Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced H.R. 1662, the Common Sense Housing Investment Act, which would replace the mortgage interest deduction with a 15 percent flat rate tax credit on interest paid on mortgages up to $500,000. The tax credit would be available to all homeowners, regardless of whether they claim the standard deduction or itemize their tax deductions

Vacation Home Sales Soar to Record High in 2014, Investment Purchases Fall

Vacation home sales boomed in 2014 to above their most recent peak level in 2006, while investment purchases fell for the fourth straight year, according to an annual survey of residential homebuyers released today by theNational Association of Realtors

USDA Awards Loans and Grants to Support Rural Economic Development

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of $31 million in loans and grants for organizations in 12 states to promote rural economic development.

Mayor Stimpson Joins White House Roundtable with Secretary of the Treasury and Senior Administration Officials on Infrastructure Investment

Mayor Sandy Stimpson traveled this week to Washington, D.C., where he joined Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew and other Senior White House and Administration officials in a roundtable conversation about infrastructure investment as part of the President's Build America Investment Initiative.

Bellwether Enterprise Establishes Dedicated Affordable Housing Group

Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC (Bellwether Enterprise), the commercial and multifamily mortgage banking subsidiary of Enterprise Community Investment Inc. (Enterprise), today announced that it has expanded its affordable housing business by establishing a group dedicated to providing flexible financing resources to affordable, multifamily clients across the United States. With 18 Bellwether Enterprise offices located throughout the country, the Affordable Housing Group will leverage the firm’s existing, nationwide lending platform.

More than $1.1 Billion in SSBCI Funds Helping Local Economies

The U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) today released a new Quarterly Report detailing how the program continues to help small businesses grow and create jobs.

USDA Expands StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Build Rural Economies

Over 125,000 low income home owners to receive loans to repair or purchase homes.

Minor Home Improvements Offer Best Return, Appraisal Institute Say

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today advised homeowners to choose upgrades instead of major remodeling projects to see the greatest potential return on investment

CAP Column Calls on Congress to Invest Now in Climate Resilient Infrastructure to Reduce Disaster Costs

As leadership in Congress continues the process of putting together a federal budget, the impacts of climate change on the nation’s aging infrastructure must not be ignored. In a column released by the Center for American Progress today, climate experts urge Congress to take the fiscally responsible steps of investing in cutting carbon pollution and improving the nation’s roads, bridges, rail lines, and other infrastructure now.

Asian Investors Lead International Commercial Investment in U.S. and Canada, says NAR Survey

International investment in commercial real estate is dominated by Asian interests in both Canada and the U.S., according to a new survey from the Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies at REALTOR® University and the National Association of Realtors

Property Investors Set to Benefit as Capital Flows From East to West Likely to Continue in 2015

The movement of capital from East to West is likely to remain the major influence on real estate markets in 2015, according to Global Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2015, an annual forecast of global real estate investor sentiment, published jointly by PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) today.

Minor Home Improvements Offer Best Return, Appraisal Institute Says

With the spring home buying season around the corner, homeowners should invest in projects that are most likely to preserve the value of their homes.

EPA Provides $200,000 to Camden, New Jersey to Support Assessment, Cleanup and Reuse of Contaminated Properties

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it is providing $200,000 to the City of Camden Redevelopment Agency in Camden, New Jersey to create a plan for revitalizing the Mt. Ephraim Choice Neighborhood. This funding is part of EPA’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning program, which helps communities develop specific strategies that integrate the cleanup and reuse of brownfields sites in larger, coordinated efforts to revitalize neighborhoods.

NREL Tool Finds Effective Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage Configurations

The Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has used the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool (BLAST) to confirm that energy storage for demand-charge management can deliver attractive economic benefits. The analysisPDF paired recent utility rate structures with historic data on solar photovoltaic electricity generation and commercial facility loads to evaluate 6,860 unique scenarios.

USDA Expands Investments in Next-Generation Bioenergy Development

Phoenix, Ariz., - March 2, 2015 - (RealEstateRama) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of up to $8.7 million in funding for bioenergy research and education efforts as well as publishing the final rule for a program that provides incentives for farmers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. Both programs are made available through the 2014 Farm Bill. The Secretary made the announcements during remarks to the Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

NAREE Extends Journalism Contest Deadline to March 6

BOCA RATON, Fla. - February 27, 2015 - (RealEstateRama) -- NAREE has extended the deadline to enter the 65th Annual Real Estate Journalism Competition to March 6.  "We received many calls from writers and editors asking for an extension since the original March 1 deadline falls on a Sunday this year," said Mary Doyle-Kimball, NAREE's executive director

3 Things Consumers Should Consider When Shopping for a Title Company

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 17, 2015 - (RealEstateRama) -- Purchasing a home is the single largest investment most consumers make in their lifetime. Soon the spring homebuying season will begin and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) reminds consumers of the three most important things to consider when shopping for a title company