Fannie, Freddie rescue won't end housing woes

By
Real Estate Agent with Liberty Investment Group

The federal government's takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may save the battered real estate market from a complete meltdown. But financial experts say the bailout won't lead to a housing recovery just yet.

Instead, some on Wall Street said the housing sector is in as tough shape today as it was before Sunday's rescue by the Treasury Department.

"This isn't curing the patient. This is preventing the patient from developing a new problem he can't survive," said Barry Ritholtz, CEO and director of equity research, Fusion IQ.

Ritholtz and others pointed to a series of problems plaguing housing that the bailout of Fannie (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie (FRE, Fortune 500) does little, if anything, to address.

In particular, there is still a large supply of unsold homes on the market and an increasing number of foreclosures that threatens to add to the glut.

What's more rising unemployment and increased job losses should add to the woes for lenders, brokers, builders and others tied to the housing sector.

"Now we have a recession,'" said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Baker added that even with home prices declining at a rate not seen since the Great Depression, the housing bubble hasn't completely deflated yet.

In fact, some argue that considering the rise in home prices during 1996 to 2006 when compared to inflation, incomes and rents during the same period, home values need to fall another 50% in order to get back to normal.

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