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Saturday, April 26, 2014

'The Moment Is Right for Housing Reform'

Jason Furman and James Stock on housing finance reform:

The Moment Is Right for Housing Reform, Commentary, WSJ: ... The reformed housing-finance system should enable the dreams of middle-class and aspiring middle-class Americans to own homes by supporting consumer-friendly mortgage products such as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. It should provide help ... to creditworthy first-time borrowers who might otherwise have trouble qualifying for a mortgage; and it should stimulate broad access to mortgages for historically underserved communities.
A reformed housing-finance system should support rental housing... It should stimulate competition and innovation..., while building in consumer protections... And it should protect the taxpayer by placing substantial private capital in front of any government guarantee—and ensure that the taxpayer be properly compensated for that guarantee.
Less discussed, but also important...: Housing-finance reform presents an opportunity to enhance macroeconomic stability by making the housing sector more cyclically resilient. Housing has long been one of the most volatile sectors of the economy,... with ... the most vulnerable and disadvantaged bearing the brunt of housing-related or magnified recessions. ...
Housing-finance reform is a key unfinished piece of business from the financial crisis, and putting all the parts together is a complex undertaking. But the current period of relative economic calm is exactly the right time to do so. ...

    Posted by on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 12:24 AM in Economics, Housing | Permalink  Comments (35)

          


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