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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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.

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soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. cindy

    really I didn't notice

    August 10, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. PW, CA

    Yuh think? Those bush guys are always on top of it aren't they.....

    August 10, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Obama supporter:White, 60 year old woman

    Another gem of brilliance from the Bush administration!

    August 10, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Neil

    This proves Bush's adminstration really takes pride in being ignorant. Steve, you JUST NOW, figured it out that we have a housing crisis?

    August 10, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Mark

    There isn't a National Crisis, in Oklahoma we went through very similar times in the mid to late 80's. Many of us had to file bankruptcy. We had to rent for several years until our credit was repaired. We made the same mistakes of taking out variable rate loans from many of these same institutions. No one, not our state government or our federal government came to "bail us out", which was as it should have been. We paid our "stupid tax", as financial advisor Dave Ramsey calls it. I understand the emotional strains of going through foreclosure. But I do not think that there should be a government bail out of either lenders or borrowers.

    We were able to buy another home a few years back. We took a fixed rate loan. We also declined to borrow the amount that the lenders said we could qualify, even though they said we should "stretch" and buy as much as we could possible afford. The amount of loan that we took was 1/3 the amount they said we could qualify to receive. It was insane to think of spending that much on our home. So many of the people that can not pay borrowed on bad advise from lenders. So both sides should pay their own stupid tax, and the taxpayers should not be bailing anyone out.

    August 10, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Raymond Duke

    A few people lost their house because they lost their jobs. Most people lost their homes because they bought way over their head. All they had to do was have a crooked lender tell them they could afford it and they wanted the house so bad they fell for it. I say let the housing crisis run its path and let the ones who took out these loans they can not pay go under. Of course I feel the same way with WALL STREET and them crooks.

    August 10, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Foreign Observer

    Not to forget the biggest reason: the Bush administration's refusal to regulate the subprime mortgage market despite repeated and insistent warnings from dozens of economists.

    August 10, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Turn The Page

    Ya think??????????????????

    August 10, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Jody Monroe

    Really? No duh.

    I could have told you that 18 months ago, for half of his salary!!! Save the taxpayers some $$$.

    August 10, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. Debby, NJ

    Has this guy been under a rock ... what the hell is wrong with these people?

    August 10, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. William, from Cali!

    Somebody tell this guy, that , we have been in a "housing crisis" for a long while now; where the hell, has he been?

    August 10, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. Susan

    Bush's people are just now realizing this now. mcCain will catch on in a few months. God, how useless are these people?

    August 10, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. Dan

    Risk is involved with everything. Why did the housing market act as if it anticipated this dream to never end? That's the risk, now you lay in your bed. Do not expect me to be sympathetic just because YOU ARE NOT MAKING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OFF US!

    August 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. Goodson

    Wow, they just found out, there's been crisis in my house since Bush came to power

    August 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. SCOTT



    August 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. Lou in MD

    I agree with Bill... there has to be a moratorium on forclosures.

    While there will be a few 'homeowners' who will just use the time, and money, during the moratorium to do stupid stuff; they are probably the ones who would have been forclosed on anyway.

    Fixed rate mortgages need to become the standard again, with people considering their budgets when buying a home.

    But, that can't happen unless lenders have money to loan... unless homebuyers have jobs and means to pay a mortgage... and, unless homes are actually affordable.

    We have a lot of 'correcting' to do...

    August 10, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. William, from Cali!

    Should I ."restructure my mortgage"? I would, If I could pay the present one; without a job................I'm not as fortunate as you are, you have a job; you "elitist", now you restructure that!

    August 10, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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