White House looks to strengthen housing market

The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high.

August 26, 2011
white house, government, housing market, real estate market

The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high: plans must help a broad swath of homeowners, stimulate the economy and cost next to nothing, according to the New York Times.

One proposal would allow millions of homeowners with government-backed mortgages to refinance them at today’s lower interest rates, about 4 percent.

A wave of refinancing could be a strong stimulus to the economy, because it would lower consumers’ mortgage bills right away and allow them to spend elsewhere. But such a sweeping change could face opposition from the regulator who oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and from investors in government-backed mortgage bonds.

Administration officials said on Wednesday that they were weighing a range of proposals, including changes to its previous refinancing programs to increase the number of homeowners taking part. They are also working on a home rental program that would try to shore up housing prices by preventing hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes from flooding the market. That program is further along – the administration has requested ideas for execution from the private sector earlier this month.

For more information: www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/business/economy/us-may-back-mortgage-refinancing-for-millions.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

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