Chicago Relocation

Should Uncle Sam Do More?

September 25, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Our friends at Yahoo! recently release a study entitled “Home Horizons 20120″ in which they asked Americans their thoughts on government and the housing market.  The interviews were conducted with 1500 “current or aspiring homeowners” which is kind of a clever way to say 1500 adults.  Even if it’s not the so-called American Dream I’m sure no one would turn down a (non-upside down) home.  But I digress.  And earlier than usual….

Actually, I’m surprised that only half (51%) wanted more government intervention to rescue at-risk homeowners.  27%  disagreed and 22% weren’t too interested one way or another.  The main request, from those interested, were more government low cost loans.

Not surprisingly, the republicans got taken to task more than the democrats in terms of who respondents thought would have a more negative effect on the real estate market (39% and 32% respectively).  Not surprising given the image of who supports limited government v. “big” government.

The more I read Yahoo’s article the more confused I get – I quote “The study also finds that four out of five adults believe that the 2012 presidential election will have either a small or large influence on the housing market.”  Did the other 300 respondents say “medium?”

The article also states that NAR is in favor of government intervention, according to an unidentified spokesperson.

As our readers know, the government has already put two major initiatives into place – HARP and HAFA (respectively, the Home Affordable Refinance Program and Home Affordable Foreclosure Avoidance Programs).  The Federal Finance Housing Agency reports it has “completed nearly 2 million foreclosure prevention actions” and “nearly 1.7 million … have allowed borrowers to retain homeownership.”  With 4 million foreclosure sales in recent years, and estimates of another 8 million at risk – that is not bad, but it certainly doesn’t mitigate the problem (or the causes!).

In summary, they don’t seem to see 2012 as a turnaround year.  I, however, tend to be a bit jaded by these surveys.  If you asked a hungry person if they were hungry, they’d probably say they were hungry…