Focus on Housing

Focus on Housing

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On September 1, economists Alan Boyce, Glenn Hubbard, and Chris Mayer released a plan for the federal government to automatically refinance mortgages owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which would increase the cash flow of homeowners by $70 billion annually.

On August 30, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published a study on changes in the mortgage market since the crisis. Private mortgages have essentially disappeared, replaced by government mortgages.

An August 24 Federal Reserve Board working paper found no evidence that the Community Reinvestment Act contributed to the subprime crisis.

An August 16 Federal Reserve Board working paper examined the relationship between housing wealth and consumption.

Also on August 16, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas published a report on when the housing market will stabilize. It expects that the market will bottom this year and then rise slowly.

On August 9, the International Monetary Fund published a working paper detailing the various measures used to stimulate home ownership in major countries.

On July 25, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco published a study on when residential housing will rebound. It estimates that it will not do so before 2014.

On July 21, the Financial Management Association published a study showing that over the last 30 years most people would have been better off, financially, by renting rather than buying a home. The reason is that excess demand for owning raised home prices above their fundamental value.

In a July 19 commentary, PIMCO economist Rod Dubitsky predicted that the housing market will remain weak for the foreseeable future.

On July 14, the Federal Reserve published a working paper which found that people whose mortgages are foreclosed generally end up in equivalent quality housing.

I last posted items on this topic on July 6.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column for The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.