The GAD Top Three | May 13th, 2024

New Study Released on the Economic and Social Impacts of STRs, Congressional Lawmakers Launch a Bipartisan Real Estate Caucus, Advocating for REALTORS® on Both Sides of the Transaction Remains NAR’s Top Priority

I have just returned from the 2024 REALTOR Legislative Meetings held May 4th through 9th. This week I will dive into my biggest takeaways from this event.

1. New Study Released on the Economic and Social Impacts of STRs

Just prior to the 2024 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings a new study was released by RRC Associates, commissioned by the Western Mountain Resort Alliance with funding from the National Association of REALTORS®, covering the economic and social impacts of short-term rentals (STRs) in three popular mountain resort destinations: Summit County, Colorado; Pitkin County, Colorado; and Teton County, Wyoming. The study shows that STRs have become a vital component of these communities' economies, generating significant revenue, and supporting local jobs. Below are a few key takeaways from the study:

Economic Impact of STRs in Each Resort Community:

  • Summit County: Vacation rentals generate a substantial $1.7 billion in economic impact, accounting for a staggering 85% of lodging revenue and supporting 28% of all jobs in the county.
  • Pitkin County: STRs contribute $553 million to the local economy, representing half of all lodging revenue and supporting 12% of county jobs.
  • Teton County: STRs generate $547 million in economic impact, accounting for 32% of lodging revenue and supporting 8% of jobs within the county.

STRs Affect on Affordable Housing

  • The vast majority of STRs are luxury properties exceeding $700,000 in value, making them unsuitable for workforce housing.
  • Many owners prioritize personal use and enjoyment of their properties over converting them to long-term rentals.
  • A more sustainable solution involves developing new housing units specifically designed and built for the needs of local residents. Additionally, revenue generated by STR taxes and fees can be strategically channeled toward affordable housing initiatives.

STRs and Housing Prices: A Weak Correlation

  • The percentage of vacation homes (including STRs) compared to total housing units in each county has remained consistent over the past three decades (1990-2020).
  • During this same period, housing prices in all three counties saw a significant increase, regardless of the STR market presence.

This study underscores the need for a nuanced approach to the STR debate. By fostering collaboration between local stakeholders, including REALTORS®, policymakers, and community members, a path can be forged that promotes economic vitality while ensuring long-term housing solutions for residents. 

The information above is courtesy of the Western Mountain Resort Alliance. To read the Executive Summaries and Reports for each county as well as the combined report visit https://wmra.online/news/

2. Congressional Lawmakers Launch a Bipartisan Real Estate Caucus

This past week a group of a Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus failed to address the lack of housing affordability and inventory nationwide. Reps. Mark Alford (R-Mo.), J. Luis Correa (D-Calif.), Tracey Mann (R-Kan.), and Brittan Pettersen (D-Colo.) were credited with launching the caucus. This move was supported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), along with the National Association of Home Builders, Mortgage Bankers Association, American Land Title Association, and other groups as a step toward creating more policies that could help to resolve some of the housing market’s most pressing issues. The launch of this Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus was teased in the Advocacy Scoop podcast, by NAR Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn. The Advocacy Scoop podcast is a new podcast to help keep members up to date on what’s happening in Washington, D.C. and around the country on the advocacy work of the NAR. You can find more information on the Advocacy Scoop podcast and download it here.  

3. Advocating for REALTORS® on Both Sides of the Transaction Remains NAR’s Top Priority

Underlining the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings was the confusion that still surrounds the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) settlement agreement. Throughout the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, it was reiterated by NAR and partner organizations that issues pertaining to the settlement agreement, are and continue to be their number one priority. Some of these actions shared at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings included: 

  • NAR legislative staff stated that the ability of veterans to employ and compensate buyer representation directly has been their top issue for a while now since the proposed settlement agreement was put in place. They expressed that they have received no pushback from legislators in their advocacy to protect Veterans' ability to employ and give direct compensation, which is not currently allowed under the Veteran Affairs (VA) Loan policy. However, the Department of VA doesn’t want to move very fast to make this change, so NAR is working on legislation right now to force the Department of VA to make this change and allow veterans to directly compensate buyer representatives as well as a bipartisan letter of support for this change. This is a very important issue to NAR and they are working hard on it.
  • Throughout the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and in advertisements throughout the conference venues, REALTOR.com emphasized that they stand with REALTORS® and support representation on both sides of the transaction. This month REALTOR.com started a campaign on the importance of buyer representation, running an ad on the 11 To-Dos of buying a home in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and The US Sun. They have developed a toolkit to utilize this marketing which can be found at realtor.com/buyeragenttoolkit.
  • NAR continues to support the protection of agents' independent contractor status through their advocacy for House Resolution 5419, originally introduced in September of last year and covered in the October 23rd, 2023 GAD Top 3.

For more detailed information on the 2024 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, you can check out summaries of key presentations at the NAR Newsroom webpage.


Connor Miller photo
Connor Miller
Government Affairs Director

As the Government Affairs Director, I work to advocate for the real estate industry through programming that promotes the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates; engage, inform, and activate membership and local government officials on key local and state real estate policies; provide staff support to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee that invests members' voluntary contributions to protect and promote the real estate industry; and support the Aspire North memberships’ involvement in community projects to further grow and strengthen our region.