Robert Dietz is the chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. Prior to joining NAHB in 2005, Dietz was an economist for the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Ohio State University.
Since 2012, housing affordability conditions for prospective homeowners have declined. While the causes of this situation are complex, it's clear financing issues are a leading contributor holding back the market. A lack of available financing for acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) debt is restraining construction and increasing costs, and this means that new construction is not keeping pace with demand, signaling the potential for worsening affordability if policymakers don't take note.
With the recent turnover in leadership at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, we may be standing at the precipice of great change in the government’s role in supporting the mortgage market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.