1 in 10 mortgages in the United States are at least one payment behind and July 2010 housing sales are down 26% from sales just one year ago. Are the multitude of programs that the Obama administration has rolled out to prop up the ailing housing industry actually helping, or is it high time to let go and let the market completely fall? From tax credits to mortgage modifications, practically every lever of government assistance as been pulled to help keep homeowners, facing default or foreclosure, in their homes and paying their mortgages. Even with billions of dollars in spending, housing prices continue to fall, new home constructions have essentially ground to a halt and foreclosures continue unabated. California alone is responsible for 14.7% of all foreclosures in the second quarter of this year. Clearly homeowners still need desperate help, but are they beyond saving?
Stuart A. Gabriel, Director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA and Professor of Finance at the UCLA Anderson School of Management
Steve Goddard, President of the California Association of Realtors