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NAHB report: Housing affordability nationwide rises to highest level in four years

National Mortgage Professional
Nov 17, 2008

Housing industry groups comment on President-Elect Obama's historic victoryEric C. PeckNAHB, Barak Obama, HOPE, Obama Administration, new Congress Housing industry trade groups have begun to show their support regarding President-Elect Barack Obama's historic presidential victory as the 44th president of the United States. "The nation's homebuilders look forward to working in a bi-partisan manner with the incoming Obama Administration and new Congress to help solve our nation's economic crisis and get housing and the economy back on track," said National Associaiton of Home Builders (NAHB) President and CEO Jerry Howard. In an effort to address falling home prices and rising foreclosures, which are the root causes of the current economic downturn, NAHB and other industry advocates are urging Congress to move forward in a lame-duck session to enact a second economic stimulus package that includes key housing recovery provisions. To provide short-term targeted incentives that will help put a floor on home prices and encourage Americans to buy homes again, NAHB is urging Congress to provide: " A 10 percent home buyer tax credit up to a maximum of $22,000, depending on the FHA loan limit in a given market. Available to all buyers who purchase a home over the next year, the tax credit would not have to be repaid by the buyer and would replace the temporary $7,500 first-time home buyer tax credit due to expire on July 1, 2009. " An interest-rate buy down on conforming loans for all families purchasing a home through the end of 2009. The plan would reduce the interest rate to 2.99 percent on 30-year mortgages for homes purchased through June 30, 2009; the interest rate would increase to 3.99 percent on contracts closed between July 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009. "Getting consumers off the sidelines will reduce the inventory of unsold homes, stop the erosion of home values in hard-hit markets and result in more new and existing home sales in the months ahead, restoring housing as an essential driver of growth in the nation's economy," said Howard. The HOPE NOW Alliance also congratulated President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden on their historic election. HOPE NOW is an industry-created, non-profit alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, counselors and other mortgage market participants that has helped to prevent 2.5 million-plus foreclosures nationwide. The group also implements efforts across the country to help as many homeowners as possible prevent foreclosure and stay in their homes. "Hope Now has helped to prevent over 2.5 million foreclosures in the past year, but there is still much work to be done. As President-Elect Obama mentioned in his acceptance speech, we need to ensure that 'Main Street' does not suffer," said Faith Schwartz, executive director of the HOPE NOW Alliance. "As the non-profit industry initiative for foreclosure prevention, Hope Now is looking forward to working with the Obama Administration on our joint goal of preventing as many foreclosures as possible and getting the economy back on track."
Published
Nov 17, 2008
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