NAR: Secondary Mortgage Market Needs Improvement

The National Association of REALTORS® welcomed the Obama Administration’s call for an orderly transition from the current form of the secondary mortgage market to a new structure that would enable Americans to achieve affordable, sustainable mortgages.

“NAR believes that we cannot have a restoration of the former secondary mortgage market with entities that took private profits while pushing losses onto the taxpayer. The new system must involve some government presence, outside of FHA, USDA, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to ensure a continued flow of capital to housing markets during economic downturns when large lenders flee the housing market,” NAR President Ron Phipps said in response to the plan released today by the Obama Administration for reforming the housing finance market.

“As the leading advocate for home ownership, NAR recognizes that the existing system failed and that changes are needed to protect taxpayers from an open-ended bailout. We believe there must be a certain level of government participation to provide middle-class families access to affordable mortgages at all times and in all markets,” Phipps said.

A system that is dominated by a few large banks that are “too-big-to-fail” would inevitably involve huge taxpayer risk of another bailout. “An efficient and adequately regulated secondary mortgage market must make available to consumers simple yet safe, reliable mortgage products like the 15- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages,” Phipps said.

NAR believes that the size of the government’s participation in housing finance should decrease if the market is to function properly, but notes that when private capital fled the marketplace during the recent financial crisis, government backing of residential mortgages was critical in sustaining the housing market. “Without government support, the financial crisis could have been far worse,” Phipps said. NAR’s economists estimate that a retreat of capital from the housing market will negatively impact the economy; because for every 1,000 home sales, 500 jobs are created for the country.

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Posted on Fri, February 11, 2011 by KCRAR