This site is about the overreaching political power of the NC Association of Realtors flush with money from cashing in your equity 6% at a time, leaving you to pay for growth with property taxes, year after year, with or without cash flow. In the last few years NCAR has pumped millions of dollars into NC political campaigns at the state and local level. They have spent millions more to defeat Local Options for Local Governments with misleading ads.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not So Realfast

Realfast, Inc., one of NCAR's for-profit subsidiaries, hit a snag in corporate filings with the NC Secretary of State's Office. The most recent Annual Report submitted 8/12/2009 signed by Tim Kent as CEO of the company was rejected 9/21/2009. Previous filed reports had been signed by William DePriest as CEO of the company, most recently on 3/11/08. The likely explanation for the rejection is that no amended report was filed confirming Kent's replacement of DePriest as CEO of Realfast. With Kent's imminent departure from NCAR the filing status will likely await the appointment of yet another CEO.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NCAR Numbers Update

NCAR membership numbers are on the decline again after a brief but mediocre summer rally since the 2009 low of 36,696 in March. Membership for November stood at 36,895 down 194 since October and, down 4,149 since the November 2008 roll of 41,044. If the same monthly drop occurs in December the year-end membership will reach a new 2009 low of 36,701. Membership in NCAR peaked in November 2007 at 43,569 which is 6,674 higher than in November 2009.

NCAR had expected to shed some members in 2009 due to the imposition of a mandatory special assessment for its Issues Mobilization Fund. NCAR projected a leaner roll of about 39,000 members in early 2009 but did not anticipate a drop to below 37,000. NCAR responded to the revenue loss of approximately $200,000 earlier in the year with about $300,000 in budget cuts including a salary freeze and the elimination of 3.5 full time positions.

RPAC fundraising has been down, and not just because of the decline in membership. The mandatory assessment seems to have supressed the PAC revenue. The NC RPAC mid-year 2009 contribution rate averages about $4.99 per member compared to about $6.60 per member in the same period in 2007
The mid-year total for individual contributions in 2009 was $184,026
The mid-year total for individual contributions in 2007 was $280,788 (a comparable period)

By mid year 2009 RPAC had $598,570 cash on hand. Meanwhile other numbers for FY2008 gathered from various sources appear to be:

NC Homeowners Alliance (527) / Issues Mobilization Fund FY2008 report
$1,846,876 Special Assessment revenue
     $217,964 Issues Mobilization fee revenue
$2,064,840 Total Issues Mobilization Fund revenue
     $569,769 Total Expenses (includes apparent prior debt of $151,857))
$1,495,071 Seems to be the account balance for FY2008 for IMF

NCAR Governmental Affairs FY2008 report
$788,270 Total Expenses (includes $608,464 Lobbying Expense)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Realtors Gloat on Demise of Union County School Funding

The NC Court of Appeals ruled last week that Union County's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) was in effect imposing unauthorized Impact Fees.

Defendant may not use the APFO to obtain indirectly the payment of what amounts to an impact fee given that defendant lacks the authority to impose school impact fees directly. Therefore, because our Constitution places the duty to fund public schools on the General Assembly and local governments and because the General Assembly has neither expressly nor impliedly authorized defendant to shift that duty using subdivision ordinances that impose fees or use similar devices upon developers of new construction, we hold that defendant’s adoption of an APFO that includes a VMP and similar measures was in excess of its statutory authority.
NC Realtors are taking credit for a "great victory for the real estate community" but don't really have any better ways to fund the construction of schools to maintain and improve property values in the communities they serve.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Leading Builders of America

This just in:

Leading Builders is a new trade association of builders (independent from NAHB). Members include: Beazer Homes, The Drees Companies, K. Hovnanian Homes, K B Home, Lennar, M/I Homes, MDC, Meritage Homes, Pulte Homes, Ryland Homes, Shea Homes, Taylor Morrison, Toll Brothers, David Weekley Homes and Weyerhaeuser Realty.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Big Builders Split from NAHB

According to Roll Call:

After a bitter fight with the National Association of Home Builders, a breakaway group of 16 of the industry’s largest builders has decided to form its own trade association. The new entity, called Leading Builders of America, is still in the early stages of formation.

Update: This rift had been building for some time according to the Housing Chronicles blog. It last came to a head back in March 2009 when large builders threatened to split from NAHB which they felt was not lobbying in their best interests especially with respect to tax treatment of net operating losses. This drama, which temporarily abated, was documented by the website in a series of posts in March:
When the Dust-up Settles
Won't You Please Come to Chicago?
Big Home Builders vs. NAHB Brush-up Update
Home Builder Trade Group Goes Public, or Rather, Goes at Its Public Members