Now, normally, Where We Live does not stray into politics. But since the housing industry is such a mess and there’s a presidential election that will shape the future of the housing industry, we thought we’d keep you up to date with the latest:.
During Monday night’s debate in Tampa, we finally heard some more concrete views from the Republican presidential candidates about how they would improve the housing market.
Post real estate columnist Mark Zandi, of Moody’s Analytics wrote a piece for us on what caused the housing crisis to begin with. He disputes the notion that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the principal culprits, although he says they certainly are not blameless. He is a former economic adviser to former presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Rick Santorum: Suggests homeowners be able to deduct losses from the sale of their homes. “This is something important, temporarily to ... get relief from the federal government.” He says Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are “two behemoths” that need to be constrained.
Ron Paul: Attacks the Federal Reserve for its role in the housing crisis for keeping interest rates too low. The housing mess is ”all government manufactured. The best thing you can do is get out of the way.”
Romney: “You have to get government out of the way. Government created the mess.” He added later that he thinks there needs to be some regulation of the market; in the past the U.S. had “the wrong” regulation.
Gingrich: Rails against the Dodd-Frank law. “If they repeal it, the housing market would be improved overnight.”Argues earlier in the debate that he was not a lobbyist to Freddie Mac; he was a consultant.
Tonight, President Obama is expected to outline some concrete steps to improve housing during his State of the Union address, after his team has acknowledged that many efforts to help homeowners avoid foreclosures have not worked.
Related: Mark Zandi: Fannie, Freddie don’t deserve blame for bubble
What do you think should be done, if anything, to improve the housing market? What questions would you want to ask the candidates? Tell us in the comments section.