“Restoring the health of the housing market and supporting homeownership in America will contribute to the economic recovery we so greatly need right now,” said EBCBOR President, Eileen O Driscoll. “Housing must remain a top issue for voters must become a national public policy priority.”
According to The Eastern Bergen County Board of REALTORS®, despite seeing early signs of stabilization in the market, creditworthy buyers are still encountering difficulty achieving their dream of homeownership, because they cannot qualify for a loan. In addition, homeowners in our area are still struggling with foreclosures and underwater mortgages.
“Issues such as foreclosures and access to affordable financing affect homeowners, the community and the national economy,” said O ‘Driscoll. “Candidates must address the rising inventory of foreclosed homes and the lack of available and affordable mortgage financing as crucial issues.”
EBCBOR says its members are calling upon the administration, Congress and lenders to help keep more people in their homes by taking aggressive steps to modifying loans and helping homeowners significantly reduce their monthly mortgage payments. Realtors® would also like to see more financing opportunities for buyers. Increased fees and higher down payments are making it difficult for many creditworthy buyers to obtain financing.
EBCBOR and its members, along with Realtors® across the country, successfully persuaded legislators to reinstate the higher loan limit formula. According to Federal Housing Administration in Bergen County the loan limit on a single family home is now $729,750, a duplex home $934,200 and a triplex family home $1,129,250. “This is significant for buyers and sellers in Bergen County area,” said O’Driscoll.”
Looking forward, O’Driscoll said there are several crucial issues ahead. Realtors® will be keeping an eye on efforts to reform the secondary mortgage market to ensure that future home buyers have access to affordable mortgage financing. Preserving the mortgage interest deduction will also remain a top priority for Realtors® this year.
Realtors® aren’t alone in their fight for the dream of homeownership. A recent Yahoo! survey found that a majority of Americans, including both renters and homeowners, believe the government should do more to help at-risk homeowners. Another survey by the National Association of Home Builders demonstrated that homeownership is a bipartisan issue in the eyes of potential voters. A majority of those surveyed said the government should do more to support homeownership and were opposed to getting rid of tax benefits for homeowners.
“The decision to become a homeowner is a very personal one, but anyone who is willing and able to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream,” said O’ Driscoll. “As the leading advocate for homeownership, Realtors® will continue to urge lawmakers to make sure housing and homeownership issues are a top priority on the nation’s public policy agenda. The American dream of homeownership needs to be alive for generations to come.”