Later this week, the Treasury Department will issue a report recommending changes to the structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is the latest development in a years-long debate over what the government’s role in housing should be.
As REALTORS®, we know better than anyone else just how vital housing is to families and to our nation.
Fact: For every additional 1,000 home sales, about 500 jobs are added to the economy. Those are real jobs that give our families, friends and neighbors a chance to work.
Fact: Every home purchase pumps $60,000 into the economy.
Fact: Housing accounts for more than 15 percent of the national gross domestic product.
Fact: Home owners pay 80 to 90 percent of ALL federal income taxes.
We need to change the dialog. Critics say housing is a drain on federal resources. We know better. Housing is the engine that drives our national economy. Eight of the last ten recessions have ended as a result of robust housing markets. The other two ended as a result of war spending. The choice is easy. America needs a healthy housing market to thrive.
In the days ahead, NAR will be reaching out to Congress and the White House to emphasize the clear connection between housing, jobs and the economy. Rather than limit support for housing, and the availability of credit, NAR is calling on Congress and the White House to advance policies that will move the housing market back to a healthy 5.5 million sales, where it SHOULD be.
We will be asking lawmakers to:
- Preserve the mortgage interest deduction at current levels.
- Move the credit pendulum to equilibrium, defined by a median credit score of 720.
- Maintain government backing in the mortgage market as part of GSE Reform.
These three steps would help bring the housing market back to a normal level, possibly generating an additional 1 million home sales and 500,000 jobs.
As the voice for real estate, we hope that Congress and White House gets the message: real estate is all about jobs.
I invite all of you to engage with us. Go to Realtor.org/homeownership for the latest information and to see how you can join the movement. — Ron Phipps, 2011 NAR President