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Ben Bernanke Addresses Members of The National Association of Home Builders

February 11th, 2012 No comments
Participants in the 2012 National Association of Home Builders International Builders Show had a rare opportunity today to hear from Ben Bernanke, Chairman of The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
 
 
IBS Bernanke Tight
 
 
Bernanke spoke to a full house and tickets to the event were one of the hottest items at the convention. Bernanke stated that “The Federal Reserve has a keen interest in the state of housing and has been actively engaged in analyzing the housing and mortgage markets. Issues related to the housing market and housing finance are important factors in the Federal Reserve’s various roles in formulating monetary policy, regulating banks, and protecting consumers of financial services.”
 
 
IBS BERN Line Blog
 
 
With an estimated 1 ¾ million homes unoccupied and for sale, something needs to be done. In the last few years roughly 2 million homes have entered the foreclosure, and many of these have come on the market keeping down the need for new building. These homes are often neglected and need repairs hurting the value of the surrounding homes and community. The Federal Reserve estimates that ¼ of these vacant homes were owned by creditors in the second quarter of 2011. They also estimated that bank owned properties(real estate owned or REO) sold as short sales, and non-auction sales are accounting for 30 percent of home sales.
 
Bernanke stated that one of the reasons the recovery in housing has been so slow is due to the restraints on mortgage credit. In past recoveries mortgage credit had begun to grow four years after the business cycle peak, but that hasn’t happened this time. One group that has been affected even more than others is first-time homebuyers.
 
 
IBS Bernanke Stage Blog2
 
 
In contrast to this rental markets seem to be strengthening and are at some of the lowest vacancy rentals of the last 8 years. With home prices falling and rents rising he stated that property owners renting these homes This could might make more sense. The REO-to-rental program was shared as a way to maintain property values and minimize the amount of time a house sits vacant.
 
As of early November 2011, about 60 metropolitan areas each had at least 250 REO properties for sale by government- sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and the FHA – a scale that could be large enough to realize efficiency gains. Atlanta has the largest number of REO properties for sale by these institutions, with about 5,000 units. The next largest inventories are in the metropolitan areas of Chicago; Detroit; Phoenix; Riverside, California and Las Vegas, each which have between 2,000 and 3,000 units.”
 
Land banks were also discussed as an option to help with these foreclosed homes. These are typically governmental agencies that have the ability to buy and sell real estate.
 
What does this mean for the factory built housing community? To me it points to the fact that our land lease communities can be a viable option to people looking for affordable housing and a great place to raise their families. With the issues that site builders are facing for the next few years I think consumers will be looking for other places to call home.
 
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Lifestylist Suzanne Felber – all rights reserved on photos.
 
"Suzanne Felber" <info@lifestylist.com>