Housing has been largely an elephant in the room for the Democratic party, as evidenced by its lack of presence during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last week. It’s one of the themes not mentioned, and with good reason, writes Bloomberg Businessweek in a recent article.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports:
It’s a tricky political card for the Democrats to play. On one hand, the housing market is finally starting to show signs of improvement. On the other, foreclosures still haunt the country, including in some key swing states such as Nevada, Florida, and Ohio. And Obama’s key anti-foreclosure effort, the Home Affordable Modification Program, has made a much smaller impact than originally promised….it will boost loan modifications by only about 0.7 percent and reduce foreclosures by at most 0.48 percent, according to a recent academic study. Outside of foreclosures, rents are up around the country as inventory is falling behind demand.
Here in Charlotte, a consortium of 19 real estate industry trade groups met with legislators Wednesday afternoon to press the importance of the market. (They held a parallel meeting with Republicans in Tampa.) The groups talked about what they saw as the hurdles to recovery—weak capital markets, lagging consumer confidence, and regulatory uncertainty among them. Steve Brown, first vice president of the National Association of Realtors, told legislators that the association fears tax changes that would cut back or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, which NAR estimates could trim home values by 15 percent. Alexandra Jackiw, from the National Apartment Association, [said] she doesn’t expect housing will get much attention on the convention stage, which doesn’t make sense to her. “We are a $2 trillion industry, just in multifamily alone,” she says…
Written by Elizabeth Ecker