Housing Continues to Improve, Don’t Mess It Up

There is a story of a cartoon floating around in builder circles that features a builder praying something along the lines of, “Please give me one more recovery, and I pray not to mess it up this time.”

Well, that recovery is coming, according to this story. But, as is the case with many stories about the economy, and especially housing, there is a note of caution to be gleaned that can best be summed up from this statement from the Freddie Mac economist quoted in the article:

Taken together, the first-quarter data releases provide an encouraging sign for both the macroeconomy and the housing recovery.  While not uniformly positive, for the most part the data trend in the right direction.

In other woods, signs are promising, but we are not out of the woods yet. While the numbers look better, they are not quite where we want them to be.

The net result is that we need to be very careful about policies affecting housing lest we make the wrong policy choices that could send housing and the entire economy back into a tailspin.

That means avoiding policies at the federal, state and local level that raise the cost of housing. Examples of these would be things like impact fees, onerous provisions in financial regulations like the Dodd-Frank Act and SAFE Act and the like.

It also means supporting pro-housing policies such as HR3849, The Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, sponsored by Representative Stephen Fincher or state and local polices geared towards fair, balanced land use practices and avoidance of back-door house tax mechanisms like impact fees and cash proffers.

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