Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bloomberg: Housing Recovery Stymied by Government

This is good article that explains the current status and lending and homebuyer. The article points out that the government forcing stricter standards on lending, however these standard are just returning to pre-bubble underwriting norm.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, seized by the U.S. during the closing months of the Bush administration in 2008, have tightened more than a dozen mortgage qualifications since then, including those for down payments and credit scores. The restrictions come after the government handed out $16.2 billion in homebuyer tax credits to pump up demand and the Federal Reserve bought more than $1 trillion of mortgage bonds to lower borrowing costs.
The Fed on June 22 lowered its estimate for 2011 economic growth to a range of 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent from the 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent it projected in April, citing the residential real estate market as a factor. Housing is “a big reason that the current recovery is less vigorous than we would like,” Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a speech last month.
“The government is working at cross-purposes,” said Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian policy-research center in Washington. “There’s been a desperate attempt to reinflate housing by throwing money at the problem. The worst time to tighten lending is after doing that.”
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