[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/10/art.preston.gi.jpg 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.
Hud.gov has contact information for housing counseling agencies throughout the country.