Congratulations presidential candidates, you made it to Election Day without having to share a substantive vision for the American housing market.
Mind you, there were moments of subtle name-dropping, with Mitt Romney bringing up the qualified mortgage rule during the debates. And President Obama definitely made it clear how his administration views principal reductions.
And both candidates – while unlikely to discuss their housing policies – do have policies, but seem to shirk sharing them publicly. So as voters leave their homes to vote today, they are doing so in an environment where no one has any real plans for saving homes or preserving the future of homeownership.
We know President Obama's administration is likely to keep calling for principal reductions on GSE loans.
Romney has consistently said he wants the market to self-correct and released a final plan at the end of the year, saying he would lean more on foreclosure alternatives. He also met with prominent leaders in the mortgage/housing industries to gauge what big issues are impacting the industry.
Romney's views on principal reduction are not as clear, so like the president, we don't know some of what he will do unless he assumes office.
We do know Gov. Romney supports some self-correction in the housing market, and he's distressed over how regulations have been written. The president, on the other hand, was in office when Dodd-Frank came into being and his team supports the legislation in its current form as a needed penicillin for a market out of control.
The nature of the election season brought us many stories, but little substance from the candidates on housing. Maybe that's because it's a hard subject to discuss. After all, in-depth research shows both parties pushed for broad homeownership initiatives in the two decades leading up to the housing crash.
But, either way, the nation will have a president-elect tomorrow.
If that person remains mum on their housing policies heading into 2013, it will prove one thing: the political class is now truly all style and no substance. Afterall, there is no issue more obviously important and substantive than housing and mortgage finance. It should have been important two years ago, four years ago ... even 10 years ago.
So it's substance time, fellas. Whoever wins better enjoy their election party and then get to work on housing issues.