Here are four steps that could be taken today to help promote a housing recovery.
1. End the needless delays in foreclosures that are slowing a recovery and driving up the cost of taxpayer bailouts of the GSEs.
2. Repeal the two biggest job killers – ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank – and act on dozens of other sound ideas have been suggested, but ignored.
3. Promote the conversion to rental of properties resulting from short sales, REOs and foreclosures by expanding the GSEs’ individual investor loan limit.
4. Help underwater borrowers who have done the right thing and made loan payments for the last 5-plus years get the benefit of a lower rate but have them keep the same monthly payment. This way the loan would amortize much faster, helping the homeowner get himself out from underwater. This would replace a reliance on refinances as an extremely weak for of stimulus.