The government is still deeply involved in the US mortgage market. In the third quarter, a variety of government entities backed 92% of all residential mortgages.
Housing policy is difficult to change because so many have benefited from the status quo.
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Banks, real estate agents, and home buyers all depend on a market that provides 30-year fixed-rate loans that can be refinanced when interest rates drop.
So the person who’s in the best position to effect change may be a president who will not be running again.
The housing market first has to be strong enough to handle a government pullout. And the private sector has to be willing to pull up the slack when it does.
The next Treasury secretary may be another critical person. This person will try to resolve the conflict between mortgage availability and bank strength.
There are still a good number of distressed mortgages in the system. The government could decide to make its mortgage relief programs more aggressive to push those troubled mortgages through the system.
Getting problem loans out of the way would likely make banks more willing
to make new loans.