We received this letter from the President of Century 21 talking about the recommendations for the White House and Congress for trying to stimulate the housing market.

Dear Century 21 Brokers and Sales Associates:

I am writing to let you know of a positive development for the real estate industry that was announced earlier today by the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations.  Specifically, the Business Roundtable's Housing Working Group-which is chaired by Realogy CEO Richard A. Smith-issued a set of recommendations for the White House and Congress that are aimed at jumpstarting the housing market in order to stimulate a broader economic recovery.

The Business Roundtable's recommendations are as follows:

  • Keep mortgage interest rates at historically low levels (below 5 percent) for at least one year;
  • Expand the current First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit incentive from the lesser of 10 percent of the purchase price of the home or $8,000 to a higher limit of either 10 percent or $15,000 for all hombuyers, remove the income restrictions and include all primary residence purchases for one full year;
  • Conduct a thorough review of current foreclosure mitigation and loan-modification programs in light of rising loan-modification re-default rates;
  • Make permanent the current temporary conforming loan limits; and
  • Continue to review and strengthen government efforts already underway to review and refine mortgage lending practices.

"We believe targeted, demand-side solutions-such as the ones Business Roundtable is recommending today-will provide a critical next step for a housing recovery that will help create jobs and boost the economy as a whole," said Smith in the business Roundtable's press release.

To obtain a copy of the Business Roundtable press release and its Housing Working Group's detailed recommendations, click here.  To read an article that appeared in today's online edition of The Wall Street Journal containing an interview with Richard Smith about the Business Roundtable's recommendations and why they are crucial to jumpstarting the housing market, click here.

Century 21 Real Estate LLC applauds the Business Roundtable for its proactive efforts to reinvigorate the U.S. housing market, and we are proud of the leadership role our parent company, Realogy, has taken in the regard.  I know that many of our brokers and sales associates already have been involved in grassroots lobbying efforts in support of housing issues with your elected officials in Washington D.C., and for that I commend you.

Please understand that the legislative process is often a long and winding road that is hard to predict, but at some point in the future, we expect to call on you to make your voices heard in support of any new legislation in congress that would advance these recommendations.  For now, just know that we appreciate your support, and we will communicate with you as these legislative oppurtunities occur.