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Realtors Ready to Showcase

Nearly 3,000 trade professionals are expected to attend the largest real estate trade show in the Southeast Thursday at the Cobb Galleria.

Atlanta Realtors looking forward to "Showcase'' must be pleased because the largest real estate trade show in the Southeast is almost here. The highlight of the year for the Atlanta Board of Realtors, the 11th annual Showcase event takes place Thursday at the from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

Nearly 3,000 trade professionals are expected to attend. The event will highlight industry seminars, services, items and tools. Proceeds from this year’s tradeshow benefit Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.

This year’s keynote speaker is Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. Yun’s remarks most likely could echo those he made Tuesday, at the National Association of Realtors Leadership Summit in Chicago.

At the summit, Yun called the recovery “frustrating,” but cited a recent U.S. Commerce Department report that claims that consumer spending was up 0.5 percent in July. Yun found this optimistic, despite the fact that the United States’ GDP for the first half of 2011 was less than one percent.

Yun also offered a solution for the sluggish real estate market. He explained that buyers are hesitant to purchase real estate for fear that financing will fall through. However, Yun forecast that housing sales would increase between 15 and 20 percent if Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae lowered the required credit score for first-time homebuyers from 762 to 720.

Yun fears that Washington may hamper recovery if it limits the Mortgage Interest Deduction, a deduction that allows taxpayers to reduce their taxable income by the amount of interest paid on a loan, to primary houses only. If limited by Congress, secondary residences like vacation homes would no longer be eligible for the deduction. Yun explained that this would negatively impact workers in resort towns who rely on tourism.

Those interested in attending the 2012 Showcase can visit the Atlanta Board of Realtors Office at 5784 Lake Forest Drive Northeast in Atlanta, before 5 p.m. Wednesday to purchase a ticket for $10. Tickets are $15 at the door the day of the event.

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