Obama talks housing market in weekly address
September 29th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama talks housing market in weekly address

(CNN) – President Barack Obama highlighted the housing crisis of 2007 and 2008 in his weekly address Saturday, calling on Congress to act and pass a mortgage refinance measure.

Meanwhile, Republicans introduced Vernon Parker from Arizona, who is running for Congress, and spoke on the jobs plans the party supports.

A bubble in the housing sector was at the center of the economic turmoil several years ago. A report released by the analytics firm Fiserv on Wednesday found the market nationwide was beginning to recover, but had a long way to go before returning to 2007 levels. Housing prices dropped a third during that time, and Fiserv projected average growth of approximately 3.7% over each of the next five years.

The hardest hit state – the election year battleground of Nevada – could be decades out from recovery: housing prices there dropped nearly 60% since 2007, and with Fiserv’s projected growth of 2.3%, it would take 40 years for prices to break even.

Obama recognized this reality in his remarks.

“The truth is, it’s going to take a while for our housing market to fully recover,” he said. But it’s going to take a lot more time – and cause a lot more hurt – if Congress keeps standing in the way.”

He urged Congress to pass the Home Affordable Refinance Program measure that would triple the number of homeowners who would be eligible to refinance their mortgage, according to data from the White House.

And Obama included a jab at Mitt Romney, who said in a 2011 interview with a Nevada newspaper that the housing market would be served best by not trying “to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.”

Obama said, “I know that there are some who think that the only option for homeowners is to just stand by and hope that the market has hit bottom. I don’t agree with that.”

The president has made a theme of calling for Congressional action in his recent weekly addresses, while Republicans typically use theirs to argue that Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate is sitting in the way.

This week, Republicans did not have a congressman, senator, or governor speak, but rather the Arizona congressional candidate.

Parker advocated for repeal of Obama’s health reform law and development of an alterative, reform of the tax code, and “reining in all of the excessive red tape that is making it harder to live, work, hire and do business.”

But Obama, Parker said, puts government first.

“He actually wants to raise taxes on small businesses. He wants to keep our own energy resources under lock and key, including the Keystone XL pipeline,” Parker said.

Parker also shared some of his personal story. He is the first in his family to attend college, he said, then went on to law school.

“All along, I would always tell myself that if I ever got out of the environment I grew up in, I would work hard to get others out and make it easier for them to have the same opportunities that have given me a chance to make a difference,” he said.

Members of Congress are out of D.C. again this week, many campaigning for reelection at home. Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney are both off of the campaign trail Saturday, while their running mates have campaign events.

Obama and Romney face off in the first presidential debate Wednesday.

Also see:

- Getting ready for Wednesday's showdown

- Ann Romney to rally while Obama preps for debate across town

- Obama to hit trail after debate

- Romney hits Obama on foreign policy in weekly podcast

- Obama talks housing market in weekly address

Filed under: 2012 • Arizona • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)

    do nothing congress

    September 29, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Housing is improving....,,

    September 29, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  3. us_1776


    In the last 3.5 years, the GOP has introduced:

    46 bills on abortion
    113 bills on religion
    73 bills on family relationships
    36 bills on marriage
    72 bills on firearms
    604 bills on taxation

    NOT 1 BILL ON JOBS!!!...
    and... they blocked the American Jobs Act...
    and every other recovery bill of the president


    September 29, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Does anyone ever compare notes. Didn't Bernke just announce the Fed was going to spend 40 Billion a month buying morgages? People can't pay for houses with no jobs. Allowing morgages with no down payment and no visuable means of support caused the crash. Obama care has killed hiring. All the bills in the world won't fix the housing mess. People need jobs. A new bill isn't needed. A new President is.

    September 29, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. GI Joe


    Employment is at 91.8 percent in the U.S.A.

    September 29, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. more wealth redistribution/bailout insanity

    So just who is supposed to absorb the loses for this money? People buying houses are NOT guaranteed their investment will go up in price. That is a risk THEY take, not the banks, and definitely NOT the taxpayers! If the prices rose, the owners would have expected that money to be theirs because they took the risk.

    If the banks are forced to absorb these loses, all they will do is pass the costs on to their customers in order to recoup the money otherwise they threaten their capital base, which the feds require be maintained at certain levels.

    Obama and the Democrats just want to take advantage of this to penalize the banks and bail people out of their poor investment decisions. Nothing but another wealth redistribution scheme in the end. Obama and the Democrats need to let the markets work as they have worked for hundreds of years. People cannot and should not be protected from their own personal decisions.

    September 29, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. jpmichigan

    Why did the housing market go bust? It was the Democrats who promoted subprime mortgages loans through the COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT ;and the lawsuits that forced banks to lend money to borrowers who had no hope tof repaying their loans In fact, it was Obama himself who helped oversee a lawsuit on behalf of 186 Chicagoans in 1995, foring Citibank to ignore its own mortgage guidelines in order to secure mortgages for poor citizens. That hardly the free market or predatory lenders that caused the problem. It was Bush who tried to stop the practice, but was rebuffed by Democrats Fank and Dodd, who late oversaw restrictive legislation that has left the loan market suppressed to this day. It is time for the Democrats to be HONEST and tell the truth, for as I did , any American can look it up and see what really caused the problem. My suggestion is to do your homework before voting this time.

    September 29, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Thomas

    It's a little late thanks to the GOP and there do nothing congress .

    This is one issue Obama could of handled better. Dealing with the banking and loan lobby is harder then dealing with China .

    They both only think of there own interests. However China din't need a federal bailout .

    September 29, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. btlprod

    Wasn't it people getting mortgages they couldn't afford one of the root causes of the current economic mess?

    September 29, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. rla

    Yep– Will only cause us to have to buy 5-10 BILLION more dollars... Just so he can say the republicans who are trying to stop this insanity can be blamed... Obama -in my opinion– no longer thinks of America just his political future! Anyone voyting for the man after these four years is a lemming!

    September 29, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Thomas

    Wasn't it people getting mortgages they couldn't afford one of the root causes of the current economic mess?


    Or maybe it was banks and mortgage companies the sold people loans they couldn't afford knowingly , then bundled them and sold them as derivatives . Then needed a bailout from the feds ?

    You can't blame people who played buy the rules and wanted a part of the American dream.

    That's an honest enough admission about the culpability of the financial community in bundling the toxic derivatives packages still disastrously undermining the economic health of the nation. Even more startling was Paulson's admission in his memoir that he, at the time he was advising the president, still did not know that home mortgages were at the heart of those troubling securities that his former company had marketed to others with such wild abandon

    September 29, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |