Obama’s attempt to reinvigorate the masses
Debate the merit of the State of the Union address as you will- some say hooray to Obama’s hard stance against the uncooperative nature of the Republican party, others are upset at his informal tone and giving the “clean coal” lobby a win, while others are enraged by his bashing of the former administration while repeating the very isolationist rhetoric he ran against.
Despite all that, we can all agree that he barely addressed the housing industry, notably one of the biggest pieces of the failing economy, second only to unemployment (which was the main focus last night)… unless you call three lines of a one hour nine minute speech worthy of the scope of the crisis we’re in. Don’t believe it? Here is the portion of the State of the Union that was devoted to housing, mortgage, the real estate economy, foreclosures, short sales, or anything real estate related:
“That’s why we’re working to lift the value of a family’s single largest investment — their home. The steps we took last year to shore up the housing market have allowed millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 on mortgage payments. This year, we will step up refinancing so that homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages.” (for the full speech, click here)
Is that enough?
I’ll say it again- three lines in a 69 minute speech… is that enough? Here’s how the housing crisis portion of the speech went (in layman’s terms): we want to raise home values… pat us on the back for saving people a few bucks last year… this year we’re gonna do a little more of that, yeah! But what was left out was …but pay no mind to the man behind the curtain whose name is Historic Foreclosures.
Is saying “we will step up refinancing” enough, given the scope of the housing crisis? What IS enough? Revamping HAMP? Starting a new loan modification program? Creating more tax incentives for transacting real estate? Pushing FHA to change their standards? Putting more “swat teams” on the ground in lenders’ offices?
All that happened last night was three lines in a critical speech, akin to an “oh yeah, and I almost forgot, but that housing thing was okay last year and this year will be okay-er.”