As part of Zillow’s recent conference, “America’s Housing Crisis” the real estate website posed one question to a series of experts: If you were President Obama, what would you have done differently in regard to housing policy over the past couple years? The experts ranged from economists to think tank fellows to executives, and here are a few of the answers that they offered:
Jason Gold, Progressive Policy Institute, senior fellow: “I would have taken a different approach to the temporary 2009 “First Time Home buyer (FTHB) Tax Credit.” We need a fundamental shift away from the debt-driven relationship we have had with home-ownership in the past. I would have encouraged saving for FTHB’s through the tax code. My colleague, Anne Kim and I, proposed just such a policy concept with the creation of the ”HomeK”, a down payment savings account for FTHB within the 401k. This allows FTHB to save pre-tax for a down payment at the same time they are saving for retirement.”
Stan Humphries, Zillow, chief economist: “I would not have instituted the federal homebuyer tax credit. This wasted $30 billion simply pulling demand forward. It also made the market appear more stable than it was in reality and, thus, delayed the timing of the true bottom in home values. [Also], I would have implemented a streamlined refinancing program that applied to all mortgages, not just Fannie, Freddie and FHA mortgages. Obama can’t do this now because it would require congressional action, but he could have done it in 2009 when Democrats controlled both sides of Congress.”
Christopher J. Mayer, Columbia Business School, Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate: “The goals of policy should have been three-fold: return mortgage markets to their normal functioning level, reduce as many “preventable” foreclosures as possible while maintaining incentives for home owners to pay the mortgage, and return private capital to the housing market.
You can find all the answers here.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/experts_weigh_in_on_national_housing_policy/5391.
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
Why condo fees are high in some buildings and low in others can be a difficult questi... read »
When sellers haven't quite lined up their next house before their settlement date com... read »
In this edition of First-Timer Primer, we look into the question of how to determine ... read »
The preferred mortgage product among most home buyers is the fixed-rate mortgage. How... read »
Here's what you need to know about reporting profit made from the sale of your home.... read »
UrbanTurf has compiled virtual looks at large new developments around the DC region.... read »
Virginia's homebuyer assistance programs can seem complex. This edition of First-Time... read »
A recent transaction shows that the housing market isn't cooling off everywhere.... read »
Developer Akridge has released new images of their planned Burnham Place development ... read »
The new development will also have a nearly 20,000 square-foot public plaza.... read »
With this weekend's DC houseboat tour a day away, UrbanTurf thought it only fitting t... read »
President Obama travels to Denver this morning to sign the stimulus bill that has bee... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader wonders if there is a rule for h... read »
As The Wharf prepares to begin construction, DC's houseboat community heads to its ne... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader asks a fairly common question th... read »
DC Real Estate Guides
Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market
We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!
Intro guides for first-time home buyers
Awesome and unusual real estate from across the DC Metro