Federal Housing Agency Optimistic about 2013 Housing Market

December 08, 2012

chicago real estate market

The director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency recently issued a statement sharing his optimism about the future of the housing industry.

Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said he believes the downturn in the nation’s property market is finally over and he is feeling ‘optimistic’ about the housing industry.

U.S. home prices have increased for the past eight months and sales activity is on the rise. Builder confidence is also on the mend, rising a solid five points in November, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

The FHFA currently oversees Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which have been under government conservatorship since 2008. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration are currently responsible for nine out every 10 mortgages in the United States.

Government involvement with mortgage lenders has increased drastically since 2006, and both Democrats and Republicans want to decrease the level of government intervention with lenders. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently decreased their reliance on taxpayers and have returned about $50 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

The next few weeks will be an important time for the housing industry. On December 31, 2012, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act will expire as part of the ‘fiscal cliff.’ If Congress does not renew the act, then homeowners who owe more than their house is worth will be required to pay certain tax fees. Many home builders believe that the Mortgage Debt Relief act helped pull the housing market out of the recession. However, regardless of government policies, the Chicago real estate industry is growing and moving forward due to an increase in home prices and job growth.

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Jessica Thom

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