Federal housing policy stuck in debate, uncertainty

 

Federal officials and lawmakers have failed to get behind the proposal by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that real estate-owned properties be converted into rentals in order to reduce excess home inventory, HousingWire reports.

While this may be slowing the recovery of the single-family housing market, experts and policymakers have expressed mixed opinions over whether the proposal would truly be beneficial. Some contend that it would cut the amount of time needed for the housing market to return to a more normal, stable and profitable state, while others have indicated that time is needed and following the proposal would be unlikely to improve the situation.

In the meantime, landlords and rental property managers working with existing properties may have benefited somewhat, since limited availability and low construction rates have been driving factors in recent rent and occupancy growth.

In the long-term, however, the source reports that some experts are concerned the difficulty lawmakers are having when it comes to formulating policies to deal with the economy and the real estate crisis may be problematic in other ways. According to one expert, the economic questions that underlie housing policy are continuing to make it difficult for officials to settle on a course of action, limiting the impact the federal government can have and prolonging uncertainty.