August 10th, 2008
01:15 PM ET
12 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.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    Answer: Ed, Santa Fe, NM.
    Uh, yeah. That includes John McCain.

    August 10, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Silence Dogood

    McCain's plan for the housing crises: a surge to destroy the houses.

    Obama's plan: talk to the houses without blame.

    Both candidates: don't change anything that will upset my lobbyists.

    Support your favorite third party!

    August 10, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Norm

    The American voting public have only themselves to blame for the mess we're in because they keep on electing the same incumbents and if not incumbents then it's cookie cutter Republican and Democrat clones. Nothing'll change until we start sending Independents to Washington. If the two main parties see power slipping from their grasps then they just may change.

    And, by the way, I always vote for whoever isn't a Republican or Democrat, so don't blame me.

    August 10, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. bill for barack

    Did he figure this out all by himself or did he have help ?

    August 10, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Bill Flemister

    There ARE buyers who are trying to buy, but the lenders are NOT lending because they have no cash at the moment ..... Lenders are out of cash, and have NO access to capital at the moment. Closing dates on approved loans are being delayed and are not funding ..... That's why there's no housing recovery possible at the moment.... Almost every house where the borrower is behind WILL go into foreclosure and push things down further, unless there is a moratorium on forclosures until cash can be infused. Add to that more than 2,000,000 homeowners whose credit has tanked while they tried to hold on, and there will be no buyers in any market ahead .....because they have been taken out as potential buyers, too.

    August 10, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Gee do you think!?! More brilliance from the Bushies.

    August 10, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Raleigh

    Oh! You don't say1

    August 10, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. John Doe

    Ron, what are you talking about? "Fat paychecks?" There's a hell of a lot more money to be earned in the private sector than in governmental positions. Keep telling yourself it's the government's fault if it makes you feel better about the fact that you took out a mortgage you knew you couldn't repay. America's problem isn't governmental dependency, it's credit. Americans try to live beyond their means and borrow more than they can earn.

    August 10, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. HoldenLitgo

    Eight Ball, allow me to introduce Steve Preston, the buffoon standing behind you with the rest of the Bush Administration.

    August 10, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Pepou

    Big deal. The most IMPORTANT matter for the media is when, how, how long did Edwards had an affair with X, Y and Z ...

    August 10, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Griff

    That's because most of proposed buyers, still live in them..

    August 10, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Ken

    I'm glad Mr. Preston decided to change the channel from FoxNews and started to get the real facts.

    August 10, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    No _ _ _ _ Skippy.

    August 10, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Marie in California

    He's just stating the obvious. We have a housing and mortgage crisis that is the result of people who foolishly borrowed beyond their means and lenders who stupidly loaned more than they reasonably should have......both mindlessly looking at a market of rising real estate values they apparently thought would never peak and crash. Helllooooo! What were all of them smoking?

    I have little sympathy for the involved parties. They brought it on themselves.

    August 10, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. JUSTIN

    Thanks to the democrats in Congress who pressured banks to give loans to "PO-FOLK" for the 'good of the people' now the people have to pay.

    Thanks for nothing democrats!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Russ

    HUD – Housing Under Demolishion!

    How to go Prestie! Soon you will be unemployed and then you can go apply to Freddie or Fannie to be on the rubber chicken circuit! Pastureland for Preston!

    How to describe what happened! I like how no ONE person is to blame! Sure!! Bush.

    August 10, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. DR. YES

    thank you for that update turtle dude.

    August 10, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Mike

    If the Bush administration knows that we are in the middle of the housing crises and what caused it. Then why couldnt they see it coming? I did. The Republicans, Bush, McClueless Et Al. Have proven themselves to be sad and inept at runnung our nation.

    August 10, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. TheTruthHurts

    That surely was an article filled with understatements. Americans who don't understand macroeconomics need to get a book or check the recent BusinessWeek article that explains this stuff for the common wo/man.

    August 10, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Wisconsin

    Lets see...

    Low paying jobs
    High cost of living

    Bush in the White House,
    McShame messing around trying for Bush III

    Ya nows the perfect time to spend $250,ooo on a home.

    August 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Peter

    thanks for telling me what i already know moron!

    August 10, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Upon Further Review

    Wow another rocket scientist.Dont forget the house flippers and the effects they had.

    August 10, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. newsnut

    Any Citizen who believes anything these conspirators are saying, to protect their pay checks and personal housing savy, need to invest heavly in the Stock Market and let the dice roll. A bunch of fortune tellers. They may as well throw chicken bones on the table for your amusement.

    August 10, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Ranjit, Dallas, Texas

    What about the responsibility of the borrowers? In the olden days, people had more than 20% downpayment to buy a house and only got houses that can be paid in one paycheck of the month. In the name of redistribution of wealth, we tried to help everyone in America to get houses. Lot of them did not have any downpayment and could not cope with the Adjustable rate mortages. Bush administration tried to increase the affordability to everyone and it is backfiring them. Social programs will always come to bite us back. We just need the market to correct themselves and come back from the extreme speculative market of 2003 to 2005.

    August 10, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. David Black

    The key question in the above comments is "who got the money." In the wake of "overbuilding" and "poor financial instruments" who got the money. Preston's comments look much like other Bush administration comments about the war, Katrina, and gas prices. Accountability, something Bush is more than willing to heap on school systems, etc. through "No Child Left Behind," is sorely lacking when it comes to the financial arena. So, who wins out of this and how do we, the taxpayers, who are about to fund the bailout, get those dollars back. Seems like a resonable question. Someone please do the math and get back to us.

    August 10, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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