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Housing can’t be fixed by government says House Speaker Boehner

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Hope for housing?

We’ve written extensively on housing since day one and it isn’t easy to keep a sunny disposition as housing has crashed in recent years. Various organizations from trade organizations to governmental organizations have come up with different ways to try to prop up the hemorrhaging housing sector.

The government has attempted numerous programs from tax incentives to the HAMP program with mixed results. Home buyer tax credits prompted purchases but struggling homeowner needs have gone wildly unmet.

In an interview with CBS News, “Over the last couple years, Congress has really set up four programs to help with those mortgage problems. And unfortunately, none of those have worked. And all they’ve really done is dragged out the length of time for the market to clear the problems. Which is unfortunate.”

Boehner also noted, “I was skeptical of these programs when they were approved. I’m even more skeptical today that there’s anything the government can do to resolve these problems.”

Is it the government’s job to fix housing or should it correct itself? It isn’t exactly a partisan issue and it is the largest part of the economy that has been crippled- is there hope? Tell us in the comments when you think a recovery is coming and what a recovery looks like.

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Sig

    May 18, 2011 at 6:57 am

    If Boehner is correct or really believes he is correct that gov. can't fix housing, perhaps he will encourage the Congress to keep gov. out of housing and out of our way. We can and will fix housing if they leave us alone.

    • Larry

      May 19, 2011 at 4:44 am

      Sig,
      you have taken the words right out of my mouth, they have never been able to correct the housing market, it always bounces back on its on; if anything they have hindered the process. Everything they try has fallen short, even the tax credit. You don't call a plumber when you have electrical issues. Lighten up on the appraisals, quit tinkering with HUD, get out of the real estate and mortgage business all together.

  2. Brad Officer - Jacksonville real estate

    May 18, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Less government, that's my vote.

    The housing market already has systems in place to correct itself and it's called foreclosure. Tempting struggling homeowners into false securities of government loan mod programs in order to keep their tanking liability, is just a ridiculous idea.

    Recovery, in my opinion, will begin once the banks become so overburdened with short sales and foreclosures, their stockholders demand the liquidation of these non-performing assets. The best and fastest liquidation would be absolute auctions. One big band aid rip!

  3. Jude Rasmus

    May 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

    The government needs to stay out of the public housing sector. The individual banks will have to temper the severity of their losses with short sales and loan mods but they shouldn't be supported by the government. After all, did these banks share their profits with the government during the "hay days" when profits were in the billions, did they?

  4. Eilean Toothright

    May 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    The government got us into this mess. How on the earth do they think they can fix it? What idiots!

  5. Jeremy

    May 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I would certainly think if the mortgage banks didn't have a US Gov't backstop they might apply just a little common sense and try to minimize their losses by making realistic loan mods and approving short sales for those with legit hardships.

  6. Mark Brian

    May 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Not sure we can rely on the banks to solve the problems considering the robosigner fiasco. Complicated problem with no easy solutions.

    Of course, one of the scariest things you can ever hear is someone say "we are from the government and we are here to help".

  7. Paula Henry

    May 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    If only they would have figured that out a long time ago!

  8. Ruthmarie Hicks

    May 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Sorry – the banks can NOT be trusted to regulate themselves. Elizabeth Warren might be able to help to some extent – if she isn't muzzled by the big banks who have the likes of Boehner in their pockets.

  9. John Perkins

    May 18, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    This is a politically driven statement; a swipe at democrats while he sits there saying, "I was skeptical in the first place..". Holy cow let me get my wheel barrel in here as he's really smelling up the place.

    The "Recovery" started the moment there was a crisis of confidence in the market. This started the breakdown that needed to occur with or without governement stepping in (which should have been in 2004 by raising interest rates and stopping sub primes at the level they were being pushed out).
    Lets face it, banks are in control and they are well protected. That's where the gov should make changes to protect Americans. For now, Gov just needs to keep the interest rate low while Buyers set stable pricing on homes. The rip the band-aid idea would be to hard on the public but a steady stream of homes should be placed on the market where they are still holding back.
    Remember, throughout history the economy has been a yo yo. Nothing new really.

  10. Pete

    May 19, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Lets face it, there is two main reasons for the housing problem;

    1) housing prices keep dropping because Real Estate companies keep telling their agents to "lower the price" reason being…the Real Estate companies have bills to pay and unless they get their commissions, then they can't pay their bills….they don't care about the seller… This has become a "self fulfilling profecy" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-fulfilling_prophecy) and if this were not the case…housing would be recovering…. Sellers need to stop lowering the price!!!!

    2) Mortgage lending regulation has made it virtually impossible for a train-load of buyers who have the means to pruchase a home and make long term payments, to get qualifed to get a loan. I agree that past lending practices got us into this mess but the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. It's a fact that many buyers today are making "cash purchases"…go figure….

    • Ryan

      June 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      So price fixing is the answer, don't lower your price? What if a seller needs to sell?

      The banks are driving the market in most areas. They are driving prices down. They are not addressing SS and REO inventory is a timely manner. There are houses in my neighborhood that were foreclosed on almost 2 years ago and still sitting there.

  11. Adam Zengel

    May 19, 2011 at 7:17 am

    The Governement was the major contributor to the mess, and Boehner is correct in saying they can't help. You had elected officials providing funds, at the risk to the taxpayers, to the banking industry, who loaned too much money to people who weren't qualified. Nobody in the whole chain had any skin in the game. The home owner walks away with bad credit, and the bankers receive more funds through the bailouts and the elected officials are claiming it's the other parties fault. The free markets work, and the politicians thinking they can alter the system for political gain are ignorant or errogant. Neither of these traits do we want in our leaders.

  12. Robert Charles

    May 19, 2011 at 11:07 am

    One of the largest factors in the housing market is the number of umemployed workers. Unemployment and housing market go hand in hand.
    I have been in the real estate business for over 45 years. I watch how new Realtors go out and get listings at any price, not the real value of the property. I rejected listing a condo because in my opinion of value, it was worth $325,000 to $350,000 max. I suggested the seller have an appraisal done. I dicussed it with a long time appraiser who told me that I was right on the money. Another realtor listed the property at $450,000. Some Realtors are listing properties at way over the SEV value of the properties, and these values are still in excess of the real market value. Furthermore, these are the same Realtors that complain when they sell the property and the appraisal comes in lower than what they sold the property for.
    Housing prices have to be realistic today in order to open up the demand for housing. Once the demand opens up, the builders will be building more houses and the workers will be back to work, but, not until.

    Another factor is contrary to Rep. Ryan's idea that mortgages should require a 20% down payment. This is absurd. Down payments should be between 3.4% to 20%. FHA mortgages which carry mortgage insurance should continue at the 3.5% down payment. Conventional loans should be available with down payments of 5 to 20%. Needless to say, the buyers should have to be qualified to secure these mortgages.

    Lets get the workers back to work as quickly as possible.

  13. Chriss

    May 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Tired of all the lies. Yes the government is responsible. Bank of America is a good example. Their income was 4.4 billion and don't have to pay any taxes this year because of all of the write offs from foreclosures. They write off 70% of loss, and get the insured amount usually any where from 50% ti 100% of the loan, then they sell it half of what the mortgage was. That causes every ones home to go down in value and then the home owner looses more money of their equity. I know people now trying to pay the banks up to date on their mortgage and the bank will not return the calls or accept the payments. Someone I know now was only 3 months in the rears and trying to pay extra every month to pay up. If they had accepted her money months ago, she would be paid up. This means more money in the CEO's pockets, vice presidents and high staff members of banks. They make more money on foreclosures right now than loans by the write offs. Every home owner should be able to sue the banks for lowering home values and making them loose the equity. It is all comming out of the home owners pocket. They should not be allowed to sell a home so much less than the mortgage. Also when you pay for a appraisal, they don't always pay the appraiser. and they are pocketing the difference. And when they do pay the appriaser, some are not paid till 3 months later even if you paid up front. It is unethical and misleading to the public, but they are all doing this, I work with banks all over the county.

  14. Ryan

    June 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    The Government is like Oprah when it comes to home ownership. You get a house, you get a house, and you get a house. Everyone gets a house. No money, no worries we have FHA for you. Banks don't want to risk giving you a loan because you have bad credit, no problem, we have Fannie and Freddie to take all the risk out. House prices are going to high, no worries we will call the FED cartel and have them lower interest rates to make it cheaper.
    The government needs to get out of the mortgage and real estate market, period. Manipulating markets leads to bigger and bigger bubbles and less and less confidence in "the markets." You can not cheat natural forces of a "free" market and economy. The more you do the worse the consequences.
    So like Oprah, after 25yrs of making everyone feel good, it's time to move on.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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