August 10th, 2008
01:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Sec. of Housing: We are in the middle of the housing crisis

Steve Preston says there are too many homes on the market and not enough buyers.

Steve Preston says there are too many homes on the market and not enough buyers.

(CNN) - Steve Preston, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said Sunday that the country is “pushing through the middle” of the housing crisis.

There is a surplus of homes on the market, but not enough customers, he said.

“We need new homebuyers to come back into this marketplace. And we have to work hard to stem the tide of foreclosures so we don't have more of those homes coming into the inventories,” he said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

Preston said the roots of the problem are multifaceted and no one person is to blame.

"I think there was confusion at the closing table as to what people were getting into. I think you had builders overbuilding in many of these markets, and as a result, needing to sell that inventory and doing so aggressively.

“And I think at the end of the day, you had mortgage instruments that were poor financial risks that ultimately landed in the hands of investors that they probably should never have bought,” he said.

Preston advised people who fear they are on the brink of losing their home to find a counselor to help them decide if they should restructure their mortgage. has contact information for housing counseling agencies throughout the country.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Rickymo

    He is very bright. Is this something he just realized?

    August 10, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Mr Republican

    If we get rid of the income tax it would set off an explosion in homebuying and pull us out of every other market problem, including unemployment.

    August 10, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Wendy


    August 10, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Angi's Mom

    Well, duh. How much are we paying this genious?

    August 10, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. David Goldman for OBAMA



    August 10, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Darryl Miller

    Mr Secretary are you woke Yet? Hello,,,,, this has been going on for a couple of months now? Hello.

    This is Bushenocmics at it's best with Mccainenomics to follow if ellected.

    August 10, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. California Gold

    Many of these homeowners would like to have back their jobs that supported the mortgage they originally qualified for.

    August 10, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. tom, boston

    land of crooks and idiots. that sumps it all up.

    August 10, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. High School Students for Obama

    People cannot afford homes and we need someone to get our economy back on the fast track like it was in the 90's.
    OBAMA '08 !!

    August 10, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. G. Smillie

    Please ask our leaders that if a bail out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is really necessary, then why can't it be in the form of a loan from the taxpayers (i.e. government money). When an average taxpayer gets in over his or her head financially his or her only option is to borrow the money, often times from these very same institutions at a high interest rate and bail themselves out. Why should it be any different here? I understand the argument that if we don't bail out these agencies or banks like Bear Sterns their will be worse reprecussions in the country's overall economy. Well, if that is the truth and only the experts know if in fact that is the case, then why the free ride? President Bush said wallstreet got drunk, a reference to how much money was made at the expense of the average citizen. Well it is time for them and all other big business to sober up!!!! Don't throw away my money!!! If you need to use it to bail out financial institutions fine. I will agree to a reasonable interest rate.

    August 10, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Alan Boyer

    Duh! What was this guy's first clue.

    August 10, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. curtis in WI

    Way to be right on top of things, there, Brownie.

    August 10, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    duh.... is every person in the Bush administration a moron?

    August 10, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. ron

    i say let the market right itself. it was created by the greed of mortgage companies and lenders and equally greedy buyers who could not afford them in the first place. we may be forced to bail out big business, but only on a pay back system when they get solvent. as far as the buyers, it is not the governments fault they entered into a contract they knew they couldn't afford. a few percentage points in a mortgage may make you have to tightened up a bit, but if it makes you unable to pay your mortgage, i rest my case. what comes next do we bail out car loans. this whole country is becoming dependent on government, be it local, state or congressional, all caused by politicians catering to the public to stay elected and collect their fat paychecks.if it continues we will implode and become a third world country. we need someone who will stop this endless spending and bring back some pride in this country

    August 10, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. rayster

    Everyone involved with the housing should be tarred and feathered and then publicly fired.
    Everyone who lined thier pockets should be charged with fraud.

    They have distroyed the economy of this country and that includes those of you that invest in the markets and are hiding behind that office that makes the money and then give the share holders tier bucks while they remain nameless. You are as much to blame as the CEO's that take those criminal wages.

    Nice to make big bucks but not at this expense. we're all too blame

    August 10, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. mello doug New Mexico

    Obviously there is a housing crises. There has been one for some time and announcing it now is just a little behind the times. But then everyone should have seen it a long, long time ago. The housing inflated costs were bound to catch up and they did. It is like people were wearing blinders, closing their eyes to what was taking place. Oh yes, and Bush just kept saying that everything was cool. What a joke this administration has been and continues to be.

    August 10, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. karen

    This is news??? And yes, Ed, obviously everyone in the Bush administration is a moron!

    August 10, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. A.J. in Fla

    Thank you for let us know, you imbecil..!!!!

    August 10, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Nonsense

    Just another article of how the government should bail out stupid people. Please people become independents...both parties are corrupt.

    August 10, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. chas alabama

    DUH, do ya think?

    August 10, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Bet McWarmonger and his wife Botox Barbie don't give a royal rats. After all, they have 8 mansions and only have back payments in taxes due on the one in CA.

    Hope people vote with their brain this year, and not for Bush third term. Republicans care for the rich only.

    August 10, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown

    Good call Dude...very observant!

    August 10, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Doreen Mayers

    I would like to know what provision is HUD making to help new homebuyers so that they would not fall into the housing crisis that is currently going on with a large foreclosure market. Is there any cash back at tax time, or cash back at the closing tables. This will be a good incentive to encourage new home owners to buy.

    August 10, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. informed florida voter

    Newsflash! Wake up government! We have homeless veterans out here! Veterans WHO HAVE DISABILITES and therefore have damaged credit from going thru the long, drawn out disability process. Some senator should sponser a bill that issues government housing loans to disabled veterans with bad credit. Any veteran with 50% or about service connection should be given a housing loan and the payments automatically deducted from their pension so that they can have a home of their own. It's so simple yet we still have thousands of homeless veterans! Someone needs to get off their duff and start being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

    August 10, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Bill

    Sounds like someone is a little late in the game. Where was this idiot before the mess started. Typical Bush crony.

    August 10, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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