LeFrancis Arnold
Dear Member, As you know, C.A.R.’s Leadership Team met last month with members of California’s congressional delegation and federal housing regulators to express our concern with the implementation of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) REO bulk sale pilot program, which calls for more than 600 Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed homes in Los Angeles and Riverside counties to be sold in one large block to an institutional investor. While the program may be beneficial in some markets, C.A.R. believes it is not beneficial in California because housing inventory here is extremely low and demand is high. As a result of the meetings, Congressman Gary Miller, along with 18 other members of California’s congressional delegation, issued a letter last week to Edward J. DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), urging DeMarco to refrain from implementing the agency’s “REO Initiative” pilot program in California because it would negatively impact California’s housing market and raise costs for taxpayers. The letter states, “We are concerned that including California counties in this initiative is in direct conflict with your duty as conservator to preserve and conserve the Company’s assets… In California, there is no question that disposing properties through bulk sales will yield a lower return for the GSEs and taxpayers than through traditional disposition methods. This means that such a program will increase losses to the taxpayer and GSEs,” the letter concludes. C.A.R. commends the 19 California Congressional members who backed the letter including Gary Miller, Jerry Lewis, Ken Calvert, Jeff Denham, Elton Gallegly, Dana Rohrabacher, Buck McKeon, Duncan Hunter, Brian Bilbray, Mary Bono Mack, Susan Davis, Brad Sherman, Joe Baca, Grace Napolitano, Judy Chu, Jim Costa, Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, and Howard Berman. In case you missed it, read an editorial piece that appeared in the Sacramento Bee expressing C.A.R.’s viewpoint on FHFA’s REO Initiative program. Early this year, Gov. Jerry Brown delivered to the legislature a proposed budget that contains sweeping changes in regulatory agencies, including the Department of Real Estate (DRE), and dramatic cuts to various state programs in order to respond to California’s on-going budget deficit. Among the changes include a proposal to restructure the Department of Real Estate (DRE) and convert it to a “bureau” within the Department of Consumer Affairs. C.A.R. is concerned this restructuring would threaten the DRE’s organizational integrity and potentially threaten the DRE’s fiscal integrity as a regulator. We will continue to monitor this proposal and inform you of any developments. As you can see, meeting with legislators to discuss the issues that affect you and your livelihood the most is extremely important. That’s why it’s essential that you attend Legislative Day 2012 at the Sacramento Convention Center on Wednesday, May 2. Attending Legislative Day not only is a great investment in your business, it also provides you with an opportunity to hear from the state’s most dynamic political leaders and C.A.R.’s Leadership. This year, California Gov. Jerry Brown has been confirmed as a speaker at Legislative Day 2012. You won’t want to miss Gov. Brown share his thoughts on the economy and the state budget. Watch our 2012 Legislation Day video to learn more. On Monday, C.A.R. will launch its 2012 “California REALTORS®. Champions of Home” consumer advertising campaign to continue to increase consumer awareness about the value of working with a California REALTOR®. In anticipation of another exciting year, C.A.R. created the video above to show you what’s coming as part of the 2012 “California REALTORS®. Champions of Home” campaign. Look for the commercials, radio traffic reads, and online banners to start airing April 16, all across California. I’ll send you more details next month on specific places to see or hear these ads. In just two short weeks, on April 28 and 29, REALTORS® around the country will participate in Nationwide Open House Week by holding open houses in neighborhoods from coast to coast, bringing value to both buyers and sellers. The event will provide a tremendous opportunity to promote the benefits of homeownership and continue an open dialogue with consumers about the housing issues that matter most to them. REALTORS® will be present at the open houses to offer expert insight into the local housing market and answer questions from consumers concerning the home buying and selling process. Visit NAR’s website for more information. While you’re in Sacramento attending Legislative Day, you won’t want to miss California REALTOR® Showcase held Thursday, May 3, at the Sacramento Convention Center. This year’s Showcase features a special luncheon presentation hosted by C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer. Singer will address a brand-new topic, “The New Real Estate Consumer,” in which he’ll provide an in-depth look at today’s real estate consumer. Hear how you can use demographic data, housing preferences, and service expectations to create business opportunities and better serve your current and potential clients. Luncheon tickets are available for purchase at the discounted pre-registration price of $55 through Friday, April 27. Tickets may be available on-site at the registration booth; however, this event is expected to sell out. REGISTER TODAY AND SAVE $10. For more information and to purchase luncheon tickets. I hope to see you in Sacramento next month. Sincerely, LeFrancis Arnold 2012 President CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®