Quick Take: Obama Hones in on Housing
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- On Tuesday President Obama gave a speech on housing reform and he isn't slowing down, with more discussion coming on Wednesday. TheStreet's Shanthi Bharatwaj and Brittany Umar discuss the housing market.
The President participates in a question-and-answer session with Zillow's (Z) CEO Spencer Rascoff at 1 p.m. EDT on the company's Web site. Bharatwaj said she mostly expects the President to discuss the micro market of housing, speaking about individual homeowners rather than the trends of the market.
In Tuesday's talk, the President mostly focused on ending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with the goal of private capital taking control of the housing market.
This echoes the bipartisan bill that's currently in Congress. Bharatwaj, however, says this will be a slow process, due to the size of the debate and number of people involved and the fact that overhauling a $10 trillion market tends to go quite slowly.The President also touched on immigration and housing, which Bharatwaj said surprised her. Immigrants support housing growth, but because of the uncertainty surrounding their living situation, often hesitate to purchase a home. The housing sector's recovery has been tough, without question. She added that 10 million people still owe more money on their mortgage than their house is worth. With another million in the foreclosure process and possibly millions more on the way, President Obama certainly has an uphill battle ahead, she said, and needs to restore confidence. Bharatwaj concluded that while it's technically a seller's market, there's two main problems: Sellers are either still underwater or can't find another house worth moving into it.
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