(NAR) -- Major news outlets have been talking about the Obama Administration possibly requesting $943 million from the U.S. Treasury this year to shore up the finances of the Federal Housing Administration. But whether the 80-year-old agency will actually need the cash infusion is far from clear.
The United States government has been very proactive in terms of stimulating mortgage lending activity since the disastrous collapse of the credit markets in 2008. Mortgage interest rates have been pushed down to historical low levels through the Treasury's Operation Twist and the third round of quantitative easing (QE3), which makes the government a major investor in mortgage-backed bonds. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) now guarantee almost all mortgages originated in the U.S. these days, The White House is very involved in foreclosure prevention and mitigation programs.
Despite the severe economic downfall left behind by the bursting of the housing bubble, home ownership remains as one of the tenets of the American Dream. For many first-time homeowners these days, however, fulfilling that portion of the American Dream is becoming increasingly difficult due to strict mortgage lending guidelines and requirements. This is an issue that the White House wants to alleviate.
Worried about predictions of rising mortgage rates, additional increases in home prices and new costs for FHA borrowers, first-time homebuyers are kicking off the spring buying market in years, despite skimpy inventories and late winter weather across much of the nation.
Per the Community Association Institute (CAI - the industry trade group) - at the end of 2012, there were 323,600 community associations, 25.9 million residential housing units and 63.4 million residents living in a community association (condo, HOA, co-op)
Despite the improving economy, home loans even for well-qualified borrowers are still unnecessarily hard to get and take too long, real estate practitioners say