Friday Five: Housing Market Update

Is home ownership poised for dramatic change? As Washington addresses the fallout from the housing bust and tries to put the country’s fiscal house in order, our legislators are debating proposals that will affect home values, who can own a home, the cost of home ownership, and how long it’ll take to become a home owner. How can you keep up on these shifting issues? Each week, check out our Friday Five — a roundup of housing news and views from K Street to Main Street.

Here are your quick hits for the week ending Aug. 26, 2011:

Politico: Dismantling the American Dream

Home ownership is a lynchpin of the American dream. This need not change, even after the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

Washington Post: Can Housing Policy be an Effective Stimulus?

As we saw with Texas, the shape of a state’s housing market can go a long way in predicting local economic conditions. Note that there is a strong correlation between the percentage of underwater mortgages in a state (i.e., mortgages on which the home owner owes more than his property is worth) and the unemployment rate.

HouseLogic: Mortgage Interest Deduction Future Murky in Super Committee

Unless you slept through the month of July, you probably picked up on the federal debt ceiling debate that dominated headlines. Although much of the press and punditry subsided after the White House and Congressional leaders reached a resolution, the legislation signed by President Obama on Aug. 2 did little to settle the deficit dispute. Instead it passed responsibility to a bipartisan “supercommittee” and placed American home owners in the crosshairs of controversy.

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Save the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Home ownership is the primary engine of economic prosperity for families, and Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida says Congress needs to promote policies that foster home ownership and home construction.

The New York Times: U.S. May Back Refinance Plan for Mortgages

The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high: Plans must help a broad swath of home owners, stimulate the economy, and cost next to nothing.