Real Estate Policy Changes in the US and its Impact [2010-2024]

By Muhammad Talha    20 May,2024

   The 21st century has been full of reforms and policy changes for the US, especially for the real estate industry.

Many legislators have shed light and proposed solutions for the challenges faced by realtors and homeowners. However, these policies are also influenced by other socio-economic factors. 

The past decade, 2010 to 2024 has been a decade of growth and digital revolution for the real estate industry. Realtors and policy makers alike, are aware of its importance.

However, as an individual, you too should know about some of these significant real estate policy changes that impact you and your ability to buy or sell a home. 

Regulatory Reform and Consumer Protection

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 2010 was a game-changer in the field of finance and real estate. It brought control and oversight over an unregulated increase in housing sales, and managed to slow this down.

To this day, the Dodd-Frank Act is considered revolutionary in the real estate industry. Because of this, a majority of the people that are interested in buying and selling houses feel more secure in making a transaction and investing money in it.

Previously, the US housing market crash caused doubt and skepticism in investors’ minds which pushed funds away from the real estate industry.

However, due to the Dodd-Frank legislation, there is more confidence in the sector which is in turn, causing an increase in its investment and funding by local and foreign investors.

Sustainable Development Policies for the US Real Estate Market

In the previous decade, there has been a significantly increased focus on sustainability efforts. In light of climate change there was high pressure on legislators and policy makers to align the real estate industry with global green initiatives.

The Energy Policy Act was the first of its kind to incentivize homeowners and real estate professionals in taking part in green efforts.

The Energy Policy Act provided tax credits to homeowners and businesses who actively invested in renewable energy and sustainable development projects.

For the same people, loan programs were also initiated so they may be able to acquire housing on easy and inexpensive terms. 

Other state-specific policies and bills were also launched to benefit homeowners and real estate professionals such as the Green Communities Act and the California Solar Initiative Act.

Digital Innovation in Real Estate - Virtual Showings and Transactions

The world has been taken by the storm of digitization and so has the real estate industry. New digital technologies have forced traditional real estate practices to update itself and provide virtual access to almost everything.

What does this mean for real estate policy and its impact on the market? It’s fairly simple. Here are a few ways how technological advances have caused real estate policy to reshape itself:

New Platforms

In the traditional world of real estate, all listings and access to information were via a realtor. Now, you can have the same access through the internet. Many buyers can connect with sellers online and vice versa on online listing platforms.

 These online listing platforms now act as the intermediary and facilitate the entire transaction just as a realtor would. Some of these platforms are listed below for your convenience:

●Zillow

●Realtor.com

●Redfin

Virtual Tours

Another replacement that has been made in real estate is the reduction of open houses. These events were previously used for networking and often resulted in lower sales for certain locations that can now be handled virtually.

3D visualization software has enabled all properties to be accessible online so all interested parties can virtually tour with ease. 

Alt text: digital house tour

Not only has this sped up the homebuying process, but has also helped in weeding out uninterested parties.

Additionally, this has also widened the customer base as people from all over the country can access properties for sale from any location without booking a flight, only to view the estate.

Secure Property Transactions

While all the digital disruption seems progressive and cool, there is also significant risk involved here. Property-related transactions in the US involve huge sums of money and access to confidential and critical data.

Therefore, data breach is a concern that many people have when talking about virtual real estate transactions.

To address this concern, multiple industry professionals and lawmakers have been considering the impact of blockchain technology in providing fast, secure, and transparent channels for consumers.

This will not only streamline property transfers and document ownership, but will also reduce risk by a notable amount.

Digital Transfer of Property Ownership

To ensure that all property transactions are secure, governing bodies have passed two legislative pieces that have proven to be pivotal for the digitization of the real estate industry.

These include the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). 

These frameworks include clear and comprehensive guidelines on digital transactions.

A few properties of these digital transactions are also covered in these documents such as electronic signatures, dates of the documents, names of the stakeholders, and property value. 

Apart from adding digital signatures, these legislations also provide regulations to digital solutions such as cloud storage, and simplifying paperwork that enhance the homebuying experience.

US Real Estate Policy: A Progressive Outlook

The previous decade has passed by at an extraordinary speed, but the US lawmaking body has kept its pace with it. The US Housing market and the real estate industry has seen notable policy changes in 2010-2024, many of which are progressive and advanced.

Since the advent of technological advances and increased focus on sustainability, real estate policy has pushed these initiatives actively. 

The Green Communities Act and the Energy Policy Act is at the forefront of such initiatives in terms of sustainability, while the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) is consistently regulating digital property transactions.

With these policies, 2024 and the future of US real estate looks bright ahead. 

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