Realtors say homeownership vital to economy

The National Association of Realtors says homeownership helps the economy.While the economy has begun to turn around in many respects, the National Association of Realtors says promoting homeownership will help stabilize the jobs market.Speaking to a Senate panel this week, NAP president Ron Phipps said that home sales create more than 2.5 million jobs, and that a new job is created for every two homes that are sold.”Owning a home contributes to the strength of the nation's economy and is still one of the best ways for individuals to build long-term wealth,” said Phipps. “Making it harder for families to afford safe mortgages does not further the goal of a housing or economic recovery.”Phipps also touched on new government rules which may require potential buyers to come up with larger down payments, saying requirements that were too tight would stop more than 10 percent of potential sales.Unlike much of the country, the Houston real estate market has seen a strong rate of sales, even in the current strict mortgage climate. The Houston Association of Realtors said home sales in January were even higher than January 2010 – when the first-time homebuyer tax credit was still in effect.

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