Upstream Develops Streamlined Method for Integration – PR Newswire

BELLEVUE, Wash., May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Upstream today announced a “two-way” method of integration with the Multiple Listing Service community at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Trade Expo. In addition to Upstream’s current method of integration, with brokers entering property information into the Upstream data base for distribution, Upstream, working with their MLS Advisory Group, has developed an expanded “broker input of choice” model.

The teams determined integration and adoption would be facilitated if brokers had a choice on entry location and MLSs could send data to Upstream.  The result is a “broker feed” method of integration where brokerages have a “single choice of input.”  If a brokerage so chooses, they can input listings into their MLS(s) allowing Upstream to receive those listings from the MLS.  Participants can continue to enhance their listings (add additional high-res photos, etc.) in Upstream and manage distribution deliberately. 

“Our objective has always been to solve problems thorough partnerships,” said Alex Lange, President and CEO of UpstreamRE. “Brokers can continue to leverage their current workflow while gaining all the enhancement and management features of Upstream. The MLS Advisory group has been instrumental in determining easier ways for the MLS community to engage and integrate with us.”

The National Association of REALTORS® recognized the partnership and importance of this milestone and announced its continued support of Upstream.  It will continue to provide resources through 2018 via the Realtor® Property Resource (RPR) support and additional funding.

“Upstream has harnessed the technology necessary to make this a reality as we shape the future of real estate,” said NAR CEO Dale Stinton. “This next inclusive step ensures that our Realtor® members remain at the center of the real estate transaction.”

UPSTREAM is a data management company created by and for the industry and consumers to provide a central choice of entry and repository for real estate property data, with the goal of improving efficiency, providing broker/agent control over data which they have generated and for which they are responsible, and enhancing the consumer’s experience by delivering more accurate, timely and consistent property information throughout the country.  The UPSTREAM board of managers includes representatives of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Century 21, Coldwell-Banker, ERA, Keller Williams, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, The Realty Alliance, RE/MAX, and non-affiliated brokerages. 

For more information about UPSTREAM or to contribute to the enterprise, contact

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. For more information, visit

Realtors Property Resource® (RPR), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS®, is an exclusive online real estate database providing Realtors® with the analytical power to help their clients make better informed decisions while increasing efficiency in the marketplace. For more information about RPR®, visit

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE National Association of Realtors

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NAR Recommends Change In CFPB Leadership Structure – Banker …


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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) endorsed the controversial Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau (CFPB) at the end of a week-long meeting in Washington, D.C. last week – with one significant change.

“NAR continues to support the existence of a federal agency such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau designed specifically to protect consumers’ interests with regard to financial products and services,” the association said in a statement. “Further, it recommends that NAR support policy proposals that restructure the CFPB or similar agency from the current single-director arrangement to a qualified five-member board with no more than three members from one political party. The existing independent agency structure and funding sources for an agency such as the CFPB should be preserved.”

The future of the CFPB has come into question during the Trump Administration, as some legislators have called for the consumer watchdog group to be dismantled or restructured.

Massachusetts broker/owner Anthony Lamacchia of Lamacchia Realty chaired the group of Realtors that worked on the policy. Lamacchia said he thinks a change in the leadership structure of the CFPB would greatly improve the organization.

“Having it approved by the National Association of Realtors board of directors was further proof that we came up with what is best,” Lamacchia said in a statement. “We do support the existence of the CFPB; however, we feel that it will be better served with these changes.”

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Fannie Mae projects full-year economic growth at 2%

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Economic growth for the first quarter has slowed for the fourth straight year compared to the fourth quarter of the previous year, according to a report from Fannie Mae.

However, the GSE is also expecting a Q2 growth rebound – also for the fourth consecutive year – bringing its full-year 2017 growth projection to 2%.

“Once again, our full-year growth forecast remains intact as the economy grinds along, with the prospect of material policy changes appearing to be delayed,” said Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan. “We expect consumer spending to resume its role as the biggest driver of growth in the second quarter amid improvements in the labor market.”

However, before being the driving force for the economy in Q2, consumer spending was actually cited by the Fannie Mae report as the major cause of economic slowdown in Q1 as real consumer spending had the smallest contribution to GDP growth since 2009 at only 0.2 percentage points.

As for the housing market, Q1 growth saw the number of households spike by 1.2 million compared with the previous year, and homeownership rates went up to 63.6%.

Millennials were also at the heart of an increase in homeownership rates as employment opportunities for their age group improved and 25-34 year-olds – the prime age group for first-time homebuyers – are becoming more open to the responsibility of owning a home.

“Positive demographic factors should continue to reshape the housing market, as rising employment and incomes appear to be positively influencing millennial homeownership rates,” Duncan added. “However, the tight supply of homes for sale continues to act as both a boon to home prices and an impediment to affordability.”

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Fannie Mae: Slow growth expected in 2017

Wegmans to open in DC, anchor Fannie Mae redevelopment

WASHINGTON — The District’s first Wegmans grocery store will anchor the redevelopment of the Fannie Mae headquarters on Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest.

It will likely open sometime in 2022.

A joint venture between D.C.-based Roadside Development and North America Sekisui House LLC (NASH) acquired the Fannie Mae campus last fall for $89 million and plans a mixed-use “urban village” redevelopment of the property that may include residential, retail and office space.

NASH is a subsidiary of Japan’s largest home-building company, Sekisui House Ltd.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser made the official announcement Sunday evening at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas.

Wegmans has been actively looking for a location in the District for several years and has held numerous discussions and meetings with the city and developers in its search for a store location.

It will be a bit of an engineering feat for Roadside, which will preserve the 60-year-old main headquarters building but incorporate Wegmans into the structure in an unusual way.

“What we’re actually doing will be holding up the building with a steel structure and we’re going to cut underneath the building and slide Wegmans into the basement of this existing building, and then create a whole new street and retail presence in the back,” Roadside’s Richard Lake told WTOP.

The store will not be below grade. It will open to a new street behind the building that will be part of the village.

Roadside still has not settled on the reuse of the remainder of the Fannie Mae building that fronts Wisconsin Avenue Northwest.

“Our plan is to convert that into either cultural and art uses and maybe residential, or it could be a hospitality high-end hotel and spa,” Lake said.

Renderings also show several other new buildings on the site, though no decisions have been made about the mix of uses.

“We are excited to be part of the redevelopment of this distinct site,” said Ralph Uttaro, senior vice president of real estate for Wegmans. “The District of Columbia is an ideal market for us and we look forward to serving new customers and offering a unique shopping experience there,” he said.

Wegmans will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, according to Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh.

“Sometimes, my residents are hesitant to embrace new business, but not this time. Wegmans’ values are in strong alignment with those of this District, and I look forward to welcoming this new community partner to Ward 3,” she said.

Roadside’s acquisition of the Fannie Mae headquarters, at 3900 Wisconsin Ave. NW, includes 10 acres of land and the original buildings that were constructed by Equitable Life Company in 1958 and 1962.

Fannie Mae is moving to its new headquarters at 1100 15th St. NW in about two years. Roadside expects to begin the site’s redevelopment immediately after Fannie Mae relocates.

Roadside’s development team includes D.C. architect firm Shalom Baranes Associates and Michael Vergason Landscape Architects.

Roadside’s past projects include CityMarket at O in Shaw and CityLine at Tenley in Tenleytown.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.02 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates inched lower this week. It was the fifth straight week that the benchmark 30-year rate hovered around the key threshold of 4 percent.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans slipped to 4.02 percent from 4.05 percent last week. The rate stood at 3.58 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent in 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971.

The rate on 15-year mortgages eased to 3.27 percent from 3.29 percent last week.

Amid growing worries that deepening political turmoil in Washington will hinder President Donald Trump’s plans to enact tax cuts and other business-friendly policies, the stock market had its steepest drop since September on Wednesday. Bond prices rose as investors shunned riskier assets. That depressed the yields on long-term Treasury bonds, which mortgage rates tend to follow.

“Political drama in Washington prompted mortgage rates to fall as investors scale back their expectations for the passage of legislation that might boost economic growth,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at real estate data provider Zillow. “Expectations for slower economic growth could translate into a slower pace of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in the months ahead.”

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also held steady at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year loans declined to 3.13 percent from 3.14 percent last week. The fee remained at 0.5 point.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Protect Your Home, Protect Your Business – RISMedia

It may be impossible to eliminate life’s risks, but you can reduce their impact. Fortunately, members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) can rest easier while also enjoying substantial discounts on home warranties, homeowners insurance, errors and omissions insurance, and other insurance protection offered through the REALTOR Benefits® Program.

Home Warranties
Home systems and appliances eventually break down from everyday wear and tear, but a home warranty from American Home Shield® can help you protect your budget. “Real estate professionals across the country trust our home warranties to help protect their clients from unforeseen budget hits during the listing and buying process,” says Trafford Seymour, vice president of Real Estate Sales for American Home Shield. “By purchasing one of our warranty products for your own investment, you can experience that value first hand.”

Unlike homeowners insurance, an AHS® home warranty is a service contract that covers routine breakdowns of essential appliances and home system components. It’s an excellent complement to help cover gaps left by traditional homeowners insurance. Choose among three plans for your own home or any other residential property you may own:

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  • ShieldEssentialSM covers the most critical home systems that are the most expensive to repair and replace.
  • ShieldPlusSM covers the most critical home systems, plus many common major household appliances.
  • ShieldCompleteSM offers the most comprehensive coverage, including the items in ShieldEssential and ShieldPlus combined, plus some additional home items like garage door openers and doorbells.

Don’t let a broken refrigerator spoil your day. These home warranties from American Home Shield help protect your appliances and include plan features that were previously only available as part of a real estate transaction.

Best of all, NAR members enjoy $50 savings on the first coverage year of whichever home warranty plan you select. Use priority code NAR50 to claim your discount. Learn more at

Homeowners Insurance
Liberty Mutual, NAR’s exclusive auto, home and renters insurance provider, offers quality coverage and exclusive savings of up to 10 percent for NAR members.1 Expert agents can help you determine the best insurance options to fit your needs and protect your home, possessions and personal liability.

In addition to great discounts on excellent coverage, Liberty Mutual fits your lifestyle, offering convenient payment options, 24-hour claims assistance and a mobile app that simplifies the claims process.

To enjoy all your Liberty Mutual benefits, be sure to mention that you’re an NAR member when speaking to an agent. Learn more at

Errors and Omissions Insurance
Victor O. Schinnerer Company and NAR have partnered to provide a first-class errors and omissions (EO) insurance program to REALTOR® firms and members.

Several premium credits are available, as allowed by state law, including a credit for being an NAR member, holding select NAR designations, continuing education, use of standard contracts, use of home warranties, risk management programs, etc. Longevity credits are also available.

Schinnerer has also compiled numerous “war stories” that brokers can download and distribute at sales meetings to illustrate various ways EO insurance can protect a real estate professional who might be “caught in the crossfire.” To learn more about the Schinnerer program for REALTORS®, and to read the war stories, visit

Discover Your Benefits
These special discounts and benefits are open to all NAR members; however, individual program availability and eligibility may vary by partner program. See partner websites for details, terms and conditions.

Designed with you in mind, the REALTOR Benefits® Program is your official (NAR) member benefits resource, bringing you savings and special offers just for REALTORS®. Program partners are carefully selected, so you can be assured they understand the unique needs of real estate professionals and are committed to your success. Make the first place you stop when you shop for your professional and personal needs.

We’ve Got You Covered With NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program
Learn more about savings for members.

Home Warranties:

Homeowners Insurance:

Errors and Omissions Insurance:

1 Discounts are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify.

Bob Goldberg is senior vice president, Sales Marketing, Business Development Strategic Investments, Professional Development, Conventions, for the National Association of REALTORS®.

For more information, please visit

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

Fannie Mae Will Pay $2.8 Billion to US Treasury After Profit

Fannie Mae said it expects to make a $2.8 billion dividend payment to the U.S. Treasury in June after reporting a first-quarter profit driven by a relatively stable mortgage market and a continued decline in delinquencies.

The payment will come after the mortgage-finance giant reported net income of $2.8 billion for the first quarter, according to its earnings release on Friday. The profit was an increase from the $1.1 billion the Washington-based company posted a year ago, but a significant decline from the $5 billion it reported for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Fannie Mae said its income declined from the fourth quarter mainly because interest rates were relatively flat between January and March, while they increased significantly in the fourth quarter of last year. To protect against interest-rate risk, Fannie Mae uses derivatives that rise and fall in value with rate changes, though the long-term economic impact of the hedging is negligible.

The company and McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac have been under U.S. control since the 2008 financial crisis. They received $187.5 billion in taxpayer aid to sustain them before they returned to profitability. The current terms of their bailouts require them to turn over virtually all profits to the Treasury, and the money doesn’t count as repayment for the government’s aid.

Freddie Mac said on Tuesday that it will pay $2.2 billion in June after reporting a first-quarter profit. With next month’s payments, the two companies will have returned about $271 billion to taxpayers.

Winding Down

Fannie’s net interest income, which includes income from guaranteeing mortgages, was $5.3 billion, compared to $5.8 billion in the fourth quarter. The companies used to make a significant amount of money by investing in private mortgage bonds, but they have been winding down those portfolios. Fannie said that in the first quarter about 75 percent of its income came from its guarantee business rather than from its mortgage portfolio.

Fannie said its serious delinquency rate on single-family mortgages fell to 1.12 percent from 1.44 percent in the fourth quarter, marking a 28th consecutive quarter of declines.

The companies’ profits come as policy makers once again begin to develop plans on what to do with the companies. The Senate Banking Committee next Thursday will hear testimony from Mel Watt, who heads Fannie’s and Freddie’s regulator. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said it would be irresponsible to leave the companies in their current state for another four years. Some investment firms and advocacy groups have pushed for the Trump administration to let the companies stop paying dividends and build their capital buffers.

BRIEF-Freddie Mac prices $661 mln seniors Housing Multifamily K Certificates

May 18 Freddie Mac:

* Freddie Mac prices $661 million seniors Housing
Multifamily K Certificates

* Company offered approximately $661 million in K
certificates (K-S08 certificates) that are expected to settle on
or about May 26, 2017
Source text for Eikon:
Further company coverage:

Mortgage applications higher as rates hold

Mortgage applications higher as rates hold

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There has been an increase in the number of new mortgage applications as mortgage rates remain relatively stable.

Data from Freddie Mac shows that the average mortgage rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage was 4.05% in the week ending May 11, slightly up from 4.02% in the previous week.

An average 15-year FRM was 3.29%, up from 3.27% and an average 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage was 3.14%, up from 3.13%.
Mixed economic reports over the last few weeks have anchored the 30-year mortgage rate around the 4 percent mark,” said Freddie Mac’s chief economist Sean Becketti.

The rates have held fairly steady for 4 weeks and the latest figures from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (w/e May 5) show that mortgage applications were up 2.4% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, according to its Market Composite Index.

On an unadjusted basis the index was up 3% compared to the previous week.

The refinance index was up 3%, while the purchase index gained 2% on both an adjusted and unadjusted basis. The adjusted purchase index hit its highest level since October 2015 while the unadjusted index jumped 6% compared to the first week of May 2016.

Refinance mortgage applications made up 41.9% of the total applications made in the week ending May 5, up from 41.6% a week earlier.  The share of applications included 10.5% FHA, 10.8% VA, 0.8% USDA.  

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