Volume 6, Issue 4:  February 1, 2013

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Planning for Complete Communities in Delaware:  The Delaware Association of REALTORS® is working with the University of Delaware's Institute for Public Administration as part of its Planning for Complete Communities in Delaware project.  Please take a moment to complete the survey below:

Dear Member of DAR –

The Institute for Public Administration (IPA) at the University of Delaware is researching state and local government regulatory barriers to creating complete communities in Delaware, as part of its Planning for Complete Communities in Delaware project. A Complete Communities Delaware 2012 Summit was held last November and a panel, representing the development community, discussed challenges and opportunities. As a follow-up to this Summit topic, IPA is conducting a short survey of members of the Delaware development community. The purpose of this survey is to assist IPA in learning more about what you perceive to be top state and local government regulatory obstacles to development projects in Delaware.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary and your anonymity is assured. The survey will be available online until Friday, February 15.  If you wish to participate, please link to the IPA survey <HERE>.

Thank you, in advance, for your assistance and input.

Warm regards,

Marcia S. Scott, Associate Policy Scientist
Institute for Public Administration
University of Delaware
180 Graham Hall
Newark, DE  19716
msscott@udel.edu
302-831-0581

Have You Missed The Ethics Training Deadline?  If you didn't complete the required Code of Ethics training before December 31, 2012, you're at risk of being suspended. Members have until March 1, 2013 to complete training before their membership is terminated. This is a link to online ethics training

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Federal News In Case You Missed It:

Pending Sales Slip But Remain on Uptrend:  Contract signings in December slipped 4.4 percent from the previous month but remain strong compared to the previous year, NAR's pending home sales index shows. The drop appears to be due mainly to inventory shortages in the West, which has seen its homes available for sale drop and its home prices rise, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says. More.   

Home Sales End 2012 up 9.2 Percent:  Existing-home sales eased in December but for the year sales ended  well above a year ago, NAR says. Total sales in 2012 were the highest in five years, while the annual price rose the most since 2005. Total existing-home sales declined 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in December from a downwardly revised 4.99 million in November, but are 12.8 percent above the 4.38 million-unit level in December 2011. The preliminary annual total for existing-home sales in 2012 was 4.65 million, up 9.2 percent from 4.26 million in 2011. It was the highest volume since 2007, when it reached 5.03 million and the strongest increase since 2004. More.  

NAR Launches Privacy Education Page:  NAR has created a one-stop resource to help your members learn about protecting the privacy and security of their customers' information. They’ll find step-by-step guides on identifying, securing, and disposing of sensitive data and will have access to NAR's Privacy and Data Security Toolkit, which contains model privacy, data security and data retention policies. Additional resources will be added throughout the year. For more info contact Melanie Wyne, 202/383-1234.

Supreme Court Case Raises Takings Issue: NAR is watching a U.S. Supreme Court property rights case that looks at the conditions agencies impose on property owners in exchange for allowing development in a regulated area. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, a property owner believes he's owed compensation after the regulating agency declined to grant him a permit to develop in a wetlands after he wouldn’t agree to certain conditions. A decision is expected in the spring. For more info contact Russell Riggs

Rules Regulate High-Interest Rate Loans:
Creditors will have to have a complete report on a physical inspection of the property by a licensed or certified appraiser when making high-interest rate home loans, the federal government says in final rules released by banking regulators. The rules implement changes in the big Wall Street reform act enacted three years ago and set out requirements for protecting consumers of high-priced loans. The rules exempt certain loans and include provisions to protect against fraudulent property flipping. Effective date is January 18, 2014. For more info contact Sarah Young.  

NAR Legislative and Regulatory Year in Review:  Your national association had a number of significant accomplishments in the Beltway and beyond during 2012. Review them all in this presentation at REALTOR.org

From REALTOR.com:  Get the app with the most accurate home listings for your Android, iPhone or iPad by clicking HERE.

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