Richard Smith, the C.E.O. of Realogy Corp. (the parent company of my parent company), released a statement this morning that I really wanted to share. Here is what he had to say...
I am writing to let you know of a positive development for the real estate industry that was announced earlier today by the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations. Specifically, the Business Roundtable’s Housing Working Group – of which I am the chair – issued a set of recommendations for the White House and Congress that are aimed at jumpstarting the housing market in order to stimulate a broader economic recovery.
The Business Roundtable’s recommendations are as follows:
· Keep mortgage interest rates at historically low levels (below 5 percent) for at least one year;
· Expand the current First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit incentive from the lesser of 10 percent of the purchase price of the home or $8,000 to a higher limit of either 10 percent or $15,000 for all homebuyers, remove the income restrictions and include all primary residence purchases for one full year;
· Conduct a thorough review of current foreclosure mitigation and loan-modification programs in light of rising loan-modification re-default rates;
· Make permanent the current temporary conforming loan limits; and
· Continue to review and strengthen government efforts already underway to review and refine mortgage lending practices.
We believe targeted, demand-side solutions – such as the ones Business Roundtable is recommending today – will provide a critical next step for a housing recovery that will help create jobs and boost the economy as a whole.
Please understand that the legislative process is often a long and winding road that is hard to predict, but at some point in the future, we expect to call on you to make your voices heard in support of any new legislation in Congress that would advance these recommendations. We will communicate with you as these legislative opportunities occur – but for now, just know that we appreciate your support.