Congress should consider providing further “sorely needed” economic stimulus to encourage homeownership and limit foreclosures in order to pull the U.S. economy out of recession, NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders said at the association’s Fall Construction Forecast Conference in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 22.
The steep decline in sales of new single-family homes should
be coming to an end in early 2009, Seiders said, setting the stage for
improvement in new residential construction later that year. However, he
warned, that outcome has grown increasingly uncertain in light of the turmoil
that has gripped world financial markets.
“Things are a lot worse than any of us had anticipated six
months ago,” Seiders said, and the nation’s housing market-which is the root
cause of the collapse in confidence among lenders-has continued to spiral
While remaining reasonably optimistic that a housing
recovery is beginning to take shape, there is a growing risk that today’s major
housing contraction could get even worse.
On the brighter side, Seiders said that housing in the first
half of 2009 should be helped by the $7,500 tax credit available to first-time
home buyers; legislative efforts to address foreclosures; the continuation of
affordable mortgage rates; and the availability of fixed-rate mortgage
financing through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration
and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Housing Stimulus Needed, Says NAHB
October 29, 2008