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MBA’s Stevens Points to Political Impact on Housing’s Future

Phil Hall
May 22, 2018
The new push by the Trump Administration to bring the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) out of their 11-year federal conservatorship could result in some negative impacts on the wider mortgage market, according to an opinion piece by David H. Steven

In his final trade conference appearance as President and Chief Executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), David H. Stevens warned that potential changes in the political landscape could bring a reshuffling of how Washington views the housing and mortgage markets.
 
Stevens linked one of the key issues facing today’s housing market to the post-recession regulatory regimen.
 
“The real problem is that there is not enough housing inventory,” said Stevens in a presentation at the MBA National Secondary Market Conference & Expo. “One of the big challenges in providing homeownership opportunities is simply having more inventory on the market, and that has its own regulatory issues. We have to give home builders the incentives to build more entry level homes.”
 
However, Stevens did not dump the burden solely on the home builders.
 
“All of us have to work together—Mortgage Bankers, Realtors, Home Builders—to create meaningful change,” Stevens added. “We don’t have to worry about people wanting to own a home—they do.”
 
Stevens stated that barring another recession, he was “going to remain bullish on the housing market and the economy.” But a change in the political landscape could bring new emphasis to different issues within the federal housing policy debate.
 
“Should the Democrats flip the House, you're going to see a bigger focus on affordable housing,” he predicted, noting that the next presidential election could bring even more change. “The next President could be a Democrat and we could see the deregulation pendulum swing back. We need stability; we need responsible lending; and I worry that we don't self-police ourselves enough.”

 
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