June 2008 Fast Takes

June 1, 2008

REALTORS®' Loss: Bruce Wolf, 63

2006–2007 NAR Treasurer Bruce Wolf, 63, who spearheaded a popular NAR program to help associations invest their reserve funds, died April 18 after a seizure at his home in Littleton, Colo. Wolf was president of the Colorado Association of REALTORS® in 1998 and was the state’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2002. Memorial contributions can be made on behalf of Wolf to the American Brain Tumor Association, 2720 River Road, Des Plaines, Ill. 60018, or the Littleton Fire Department, 2255 W. Berry Ave., Littleton, Col. 80165.

Renter Woes

The media have had a field day reporting on slower sales and flat appreciation in many housing markets, but the rental market is facing its own challenges. Rental rates were up 3 percent in the first quarter of 2008 from the first quarter of 2007, according to RealFacts. That increase comes on top of what the U.S. Census Bureau says is a 14 percent rise.

A National Low Income Housing Coalition report released in April says renter households must earn at least $17.32 an hour to afford the typical national rent for a two-bedroom apartment, but the median national income is only $15.62, an 11 percent gap.

One city where the gap is growing rapidly is Salt Lake City, where the average rent is up almost 10 percent in the first quarter, to $803, RealFacts says.

NAR Praises HUD Nominee

Steve Preston, the former administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration whom President George W. Bush picked to be the new head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will bring critical problem-solving skills to the post, says NAR President Richard F. Gaylord. Congress is expected to approve the appointment of Preston, who was nominated after Alphonso Jackson resigned in mid-April.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.

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