Government Lending

Buttigieg would be “positive” for housing, Cowen says

But the short track record of the 37-year-old mayor doesn’t give much to go on

Pete Buttigieg, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, would be a “positive” for housing, according to Cowen Washington Research Group. 

There’s a caveat: “There is very little known about how Buttigieg views financial firms or housing,” Jaret Seiberg, managing director for the public policy research firm, wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday.

Buttigieg has vaulted to the front of the pack with a 10-point lead in a Saint Anselm College poll released Tuesday. The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, got the support of 25 percent of self-identified likely Democratic primary voters in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary scheduled for Feb. 11.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are tied for second at 15% in the same poll.

For a summation of the housing plans of the 2020 presidential candidates, click here. Ten Democratic presidential candidates will face off in the fifth primary debate in Atlanta on Wednesday night.

“Our view is that Mayor Pete Buttigieg is likely to be the most pragmatic of the leading Democratic candidates,” the Cowen note said. “As a mayor, his experience is solving problems rather than partisan brawling. We believe that approach would be well received in the market. That means the door is more open for him to be positive for financials and housing than the other Democrats running for the White House.”

Buttigieg has endorsed the creation of a federal program to provide down payment assistance to help 1 million families buy homes. He has also discussed using the various affordable housing trust funds to finance 2 million units of affordable housing. 

“We believe that is an implicit endorsement of keeping Fannie and Freddie as they are taxed to finance some of these trust funds,” the Cowen note said. “In addition, it would seem to align his interests with that of Fannie and Freddie as the more successful the enterprises are then the more money they will contribute to these affordable housing trust funds.”

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