No housing boom this year -- bank honcho

by Ryan Smith04 May 2015
While the housing market and the demand for mortgages will continue to improve, there won’t be a “boom” this year, according to the CEO of Wells Fargo.

Speaking to CNBC, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said there are stumbling blocks to a housing boom, including student debt, household formation happening later in life and the perception that credit is unavailable.

That perception, at least, is wrong, Stumpf insisted.

“It really is more available now, and still at great rates,” he told CNBC. “(It’s very affordable for housing.”

But the market is improving. More buyers are entering the market this spring, according to CNBC. The share of buyers with signed contracts to buy existing homes rose 1.1% in March, while pending home sales are 11.1% higher than they were this time last year.

Mortgage rates, of course, are being kept comparatively low due to the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates near zero. Stumpf told CNBC that he hoped the Fed would start bringing rates back to normal sooner rather than later. He anticipated the first rate hike of 25 basis points would hit in September, according to CNBC.

“I think rates should normalize and equal the strength of the economy,” he said.