Ed Pinto, one of the smartest minds looking at housing, and the resident fellow and codirector of the American Enterprise Institute's International Center on Housing Risk, writes in the Wall Street Journal that the White House is steering housing back into the dangerous waters it's just coming out of.
The Obama administration’s troubling flirtation with another mortgage meltdown took an unsettling turn on Tuesday with Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.
Mr. Watt told the committee that, having received “feedback from stakeholders,” he expects to release by the end of March new guidance on the “guarantee fee” charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to cover the credit risk on loans the federal mortgage agencies guarantee.
Here we go again. In the Obama administration, new guidance on housing policy invariably means lowering standards to get mortgages into the hands of people who may not be able to afford them.
Earlier this month, President Obama announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will begin lowering annual mortgage-insurance premiums “to make mortgages more affordable and accessible.” While that sounds good in the abstract, the decision is a bad one with serious consequences for the housing market.
To read the full column in the Wall Street Journal, click here.