By Paul Glass, OAR Director of Political Affairs
Two members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation — Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus ) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) — were key votes in passage of a bill that fixes the discrimination against affiliated title businesses in the 3 percent Qualified Mortgage “points and fees” cap. The Mortgage Choice Act (H.R. 685), part of a series of bills making changes to Dodd Frank, passed the House Finance Services Committee yesterday by a 43-12 margin.
The bill passed by Committee:
- Excludes affiliated title fees from the 3 percent QM cap to the same extent unaffiliated title fees are excluded;
- Clarifies that funds held in escrow for taxes and insurance are excluded from the cap; and
- Requires the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to modify its final QM rule within three months in accordance with the new law to minimize any transitional uncertainty in the industry.
The bill is expected to be considered by the full House soon. Additionally, an identical bill will be introduced in the Senate.
By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth
Think back to school days when a teacher would call each name and you would respond “here.” Were you really there? Or, were you physically there but mentally thinking of other opportunities that would be available to you if you were not sitting at a desk? Well, maybe that was just my own little visit to earlier days and you did not have that experience at all, but I am guessing at least some of you share my memory!
And what about now? How are you showing up for the various responsibilities in your life? When you are on a listing appointment, are you there for the client, listening fully and asking the quality questions that allow you to be of most service to them? Or, as they are talking, are you thinking about what you will say next?
What about interactions with the other people in our lives? Are you 10 steps ahead, already knowing where you are going as soon as the conversation is over? When we do this, we rob ourselves and others of our full attention and consequently, the interaction is less than it could be.
My 90-year-old mother is currently living in an assisted care facility and is most often not able to communicate coherently with us. This was frustrating to me for quite some time until I decided to just be there with her with no expectations. When I am there, rather than trying to force conversation, I hold her hand and notice her. Being with her in that way has allowed me to appreciate even tiny things about her — her smooth complexion, different faces that she makes and when conversation does happen it is light and easy!
This week, practice being completely “here” in each interaction, bringing a greater sense of awareness to each situation. The benefits are many!
Marilou Butcher Roth is the owner of The MBR Group, a coaching and training company working primarily with REALTORS who have a desire to work and live from a more inspired place. She is also the Broker/Owner of Group REALTORS in Cincinnati.
Marilou is a member of the OAR Board of Directors and past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you: Marilou@mbr-group.com
By Greg Stitz, OAR Director of Research
Compared to last year 45 percent of Ohio REALTORS are seeing appraisals coming in higher, a 7 percent drop from the 52 percent indicating the same when the same question was asked in March 2014. According to OAR’s latest housing confidence survey findings, about half of respondents are seeing no change compared to last year and only 6 percent are noticing appraisals coming in lower in their area.
Survey results are based on responses to a monthly survey, designed to capture the effects of the existing economic conditions and trends on the real estate industry, sent to a pool of 1,500 OAR participants. Click here to participate in future OAR Housing Confidence Surveys.
Look for the Winter-Spring issue of the Ohio REALTOR magazine to arrive in your mailbox soon. This issue features:
- An in-depth examination of who bought and who sold homes in Ohio in 2014 — everything from consumer characteristics to the type of property purchased, as well as look at the perception consumers had of their experience with a estate professional;
- OAR’s Legal Counsel team — Peg Ritenour and Lorie Garland — provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from REALTORS pertaining to Ohio license law;
- A look at Ohio’s updated sewage treatment system regulations and what it means for home owners and the real estate profession;
- Highlights from the organization’s Inaugural & Winter Conference;
- And much more!
By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations
According to REALTOR.com’s February 2015 Housing Report, which tracks inventory of for-sale single-family homes and condos, median list prices, inventory levels and days on the market for 200 cities across the country:
The realtor.com February National Housing Trend Report shows that inventory has increased 1.2 percent month over month and decreased 10.9 percent year over year.
In February, homes spent approximately 102 days on the market, which was a decrease of 1.9 percent month over month and 6.9 percent year over year. Median prices rose to $214,000, an increase of 1.9 percent month over month and 8.6 percent year over year.
Compared to the findings from a year ago, five of the six Ohio markets tracked reported an uptick in the median list price in February, while the time frame that homes are being marketed for sale continues to shrink compared to 2014. Additionally, inventory levels in most of the areas held steady.
February 2015 vs. February 2014
“One of the biggest challenges to the Ohio housing market over the past few years has been tight — and even declining — inventory levels of homes listed for sale,” said Greg Hrabcak, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS. “For the first time in an extended period out inventory levels have held steady, rather than a continued decline. This is an encouraging development as we enter the beginning of the spring buying season. Certainly, the rising list prices and shorter marketing periods are an indication that the desire for home ownership remains strong across the Buckeye State.”