President Barack Obama said a lot of things during his annual State of the Union Address before Congress last night, but he didn’t utter any of the following words or phrases:
– Home loan
– Qualified Mortgage
– Home prices
– Mortgage rates
– Fannie Mae
– Freddie Mac
In many of his previous addresses, the ongoing housing crisis was at the forefront, but it appears we have turned the corner.
After all, it is 2014, and stuff hit the fan all the way back in 2007-2008, so it’s been quite a while now.
In fact, the only thing he mentioned about the housing market was that it was “rebounding,” and that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for a housing crisis ever again.
Housing Mission Accomplished
So this can be taken as good news, as mission accomplished on the housing front. Foreclosures are down, home prices are up, there are fewer underwater homeowners, mortgage rates are still low, and there’s no longer a need to even talk about it.
While this is welcome news, and something we should surely sit back and appreciate, as opposed to worrying about what will happen next, it does mean the government handouts are likely up.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is winding down, though millions are apparently still eligible. And as more time passes, the less likely a new extension of the popular program becomes. HARP 3? Doesn’t sound like it to me.
Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury for Housing Finance Policy Dr. Michael Stegman echoed this last week.
That’s the bad news. With things looking up, expect to go it alone moving forward. Expect stringent underwriting guidelines, higher down payment requirements, steeper asking prices, and more expensive mortgage rates.
And fewer incentives to buy a home other than the fact that you want/need one to live in.
(photo: Rupert Ganzer)