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Housing Finance Key in 2013

Written by Carla Hill on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 7:00 pm

At a recent Realtor symposium entitled "Housing Policy in 2013: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions", a theme became clear. Housing finance will be a key issue facing the winner of this year’s presidential election.

What policy goals are on the table? Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Ed DeMarco noted that these should include building a new infrastructure for the secondary mortgage market; establishing standards that promote a safer and more efficient housing finance system; and increasing private capital while retracting government participation in the secondary mortgage market.

"We all are cautiously optimistic that the signs of stabilization, and in some places, strength, that have begun to emerge in various housing markets are true signals that a long-awaited recovery is taking place," said DeMarco. "While FHFA will keep its focus on foreclosure alternatives, refinancing, and ongoing liquidity in the marketplace, it is time for policymakers to begin work in earnest on the future housing finance system."

In the years since 2008, the FHFA has completed more than 1 million loan modifications. This has helped many homeowners keep their homes and others to sell before entering foreclosure. The Federal Housing Administration has been taking steps in order to provide access to financing. Access to credit has been one of the biggest obstacles for a housing recovery in recent years.

Federal Housing Administration Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing Carol Galante noted that it’s important for future generations to have the same buying opportunities as those that came before them. Homeownership should be accessible.

She said the agency is working to preserve its mission of providing liquidity while ensuring its continued viability, and has increased premiums to compensate for losses that resulted from increased foreclosures.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, reported, "Without a secondary market, mortgage interest rates would be unnecessarily higher and unaffordable for many Americans, and products like the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage would likely be inaccessible for most borrowers."

The issue of housing and access to credit are a high priority for today’s voters and will continue to be a hot topic during the next Presidential term. We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments and policy changes.

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