The National Association of Realtors has expressed support for a new regulation proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor that would expand the definition of “employer” to encompass “working owners” and could result in trade associations like NAR being able to offer health insurance coverage to members through the large group insurance market. Allowing small businesses and self-employed individuals participation in association health plans could provide greater access and more reasonably priced health insurance options for both individuals and families. In a letter to regulators, NAR requests that the Department of Labor reconsider the provision restricting working owners’ participation in an employer health plan if subsidized coverage is available to them through a spouse’s employer.
“Eliminating this requirement will provide greater insurance choices to more real estate professionals, many of whom are struggling to find affordable insurance,” says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall.
Other recent real estate news:
- JPMorgan Chase is now offering eligible homebuyers in low- to moderate-income areas a $2,500 grant available for 30-year fixed rate loans on a single-family home with down payment options as low as 3 percent and reduced mortgage insurance requirements. An additional $500 is available to customers getting a DreaMaker mortgage upon completion of a homebuyer education course.
- Keller Williams is partnering with Nextdoor to bring new insights to agents and keep them informed of local neighborhood happenings and trends. Nextdoor’s local insights and Keller Williams’ artificial intelligence platform will grant new and exclusive experiences for homeowners, buyers and sellers.
- RE/MAX is set to acquire web design and technology firm booj. RE/MAX plans to use booj and other strategic partners to provide tech solutions created for and by RE/MAX affiliates. RE/MAX intends for technology platforms to give its brokerages and agents a competitive edge and to serve as a complement to other relevant tech products.
- PulteGroup founder William J. Pulte died last week at age the age of 85. PulteGroup, one of the nation’s largest home builders, celebrated the completion of its 500,000th home in 2007 and operates in over 50 markets. Pulte’s funeral was held in Birmingham, Michigan, last week and there was a memorial mass conducted for the billionaire on March 12 in Naples, Florida.
- Americans’ confidence in housing dropped 3.7 points in February, reversing the growth seen in January, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index. The index fell to 85.9 points in February, with a decrease in five of the six HPSI components. Only 36 percent of Americans reported that now is a good time to buy a home in February, a two-percentage point decline from the previous month.