The National Association of Realtors is calling on Congress to pass new housing stimulus legislation it says will "give a boost to the economy and help to calm jittery potential home buyers."

Hoping Congress will act during the lame-duck session after the national elections in November, NAR proposes eliminating the repayment of the $7,500 first-time home buyer tax credit and expanding it to all home buyers; making higher mortgage loan limits permanent to benefit buyers in high-cost areas; pushing banks to extend credit to Main Street; expediting the process for short sales and banks’ real estate-owned (REO) properties; and prohibiting banks from entering into real estate brokerage and management.

"Housing has always lifted the economy out of downturns, and it is imperative to get the housing market moving forward as quickly as possible," NAR President Richard F. Gaylord said in a press statement. He added that "making it easier for qualified buyers to get safe and affordable mortgage loans" is key to an economic recovery.

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