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NAR President Steve Brown and HUD Secretary Julián Castro Share Real Insights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 27, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Buying a home is one of the most significant personal and financial commitments most Americans ever make. To give today’s home buyers and sellers the information they need to succeed, the National Association of Realtors® has launched Real Insights.

Today’s inaugural event featured a conversation between Julián Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and NAR President Steve Brown. Brown and Castro co-hosted the digital event, and discussed Federal Housing Administration and HUD policies that help make the dream of homeownership a reality for Americans.

“Some of the major hurdles first-time buyers experience is access to affordable credit, high mortgage premium costs and strict condo regulations,” said Brown. “Today’s discussion with Secretary Castro opened up a dialogue and allowed our members and consumers to engage in a conversation regarding developments in these areas. The Conversation with Real Insight series will continue to shine a spotlight on trends within the housing industry by connecting Realtors® and consumers with policy leaders and industry experts at the local, state and national levels.”

“The ability of Americans to find good, quality, affordable housing plays a vital role in our nation’s economic prosperity,” said Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “I deeply appreciate the work NAR does to help families obtain quality housing and achieve their dreams of homeownership. I look forward to working with the Realtors® to expand opportunities for all Americans.”

Topics that were discussed included mortgage availability and premium costs; access to affordable credit; strict and costly condo regulations; the benefits of homeownership; and new initiatives from FHA to help first-time home buyers, such as the Homeowners Armed with Knowledge, or HAWK, program.

Conversations with Real Insight is a new initiative from NAR that features Realtors®, policy makers and industry leaders who will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding about the important issues affecting real estate today. The series of live and online events will educate potential home buyers and arm them with the information necessary to make smart home buying decisions.

“Data is about the past; knowledge is about the future,” said Brown. “In addition to having the most accurate data, Realtors® have the experience and knowledge consumers need to succeed in local real estate markets across the country. Working with a Realtor® gives buyers and sellers the advantage they need in today’s marketplace.”

The full video of today’s event will be available at

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Media Contact: Sara Wiskerchen / 202-383-1013