NAR touts commercial victories in 2011
19 Dec 2011
Posted by Andrew Kantor, Editor & Blogmaster 
As the end-of-year wrapups continue, NAR has one celebrating its major victories for the commercial market.
Here’s the short version:
The National Flood Insurance Program didn’t lapse, and NAR is continuing to press for a long-term (five-year) extension.
FHA loan limits were extended, and remain at 125% of median local home prices. “While that doesn’t impact commercial real estate directly, our industry depends on a thriving workforce and housing market, so this is an issue that all commercial practitioners will benefit from,” said NAR treasurer Bill Armstrong.
The House began hearings on the NAR-supported Credit Union Member Business Lending Bill. It would raise the cap on what credit unions could lend to their business members from 12.15% to 27.5% of total assets (for well-capitalized credit unions). Result: More capital for small businesses in commercial buildings.
The Small Business Administration, with NAR’s support, created a new commercial refinance program that allows small businesses to refinance certain owner-occupied commercial real estate loans. Originally it would only cover CRE mortgages maturing by end of 2012, but NAR pushed for — and won — an extension for at least some of those loans.