Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Top Minds Highlight NAR Real Estate Summit to Advance the U.S. Economy

Washington, DC - May 11, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) —The best and brightest minds across a spectrum of fields will gather here Tuesday to shine light on how real estate can lead the country out of the present economic downturn, as the National Association of Realtors® begins its annual Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

An all-day event, “The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy,” kicks off the weeklong NAR meetings that run through Saturday. Government officials, academics, business leaders, economists, media members and real estate industry experts will participate in the summit.

“NAR, as the leading advocate for homeownership and private property issues, is excited about presenting this dynamic, forward-looking summit, and we hope the distinguished guests will help us come to grips with the real estate challenges facing us all,” said Charles McMillan, president of NAR and a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. “We expect to hear some great ideas and some innovative insights.”

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, and Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Board Chairman, head up the summit’s all-star cast of speakers. Also on the docket are Sheila Bair, director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; conservative commentator Pat Buchanan; former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn.; and U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee.

The opening Legislative and Regulatory Forum session features Buchanan and Ford. They will be followed by a morning panel session, “Reshaping Real Estate to Sustain Communities,” moderated by Ron Insana, senior analyst and commentator, CNBC.

The panel features noted economist Martin Feldstein, Harvard University; Barry Bluestone, dean, Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University; Susan Wachter, professor of real estate at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and Eric Belsky, executive director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University.

The afternoon panel, moderated by Jane Bryant Quinn, contributing editor, Newsweek, will discuss “Financing Real Estate for Tomorrow.” Included among the distinguished panelists are Conrad Egan, president and CEO, National Housing Conference; Michael Calhoun, president, Center for Responsible Lending; Phil Bracken, executive vice president, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; and Allan Meltzer, professor of political economy, Carnegie Mellon University.

During the rest of the week, more than 8,500 Realtors® will attend meetings, visit lawmakers and inspire action on Capitol Hill. Realtors® will be actively engaging policymakers to help move the real estate market forward, reiterate the value of the mortgage interest deduction to homeowners and the housing market, ensure affordable insurance through small business health plans, propose energy efficiency legislation, and stabilize and provide liquidity to commercial real estate markets. In addition, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun will share new research related to the jumbo loan market and discuss market challenges, short-term options and long-term solutions.

Learn more about the Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.