Real Estate News: Presidential Candidates Should Be Talking About Housing

Posted by Staff Reporter ( on Oct 19, 2015 07:35 AM EDT
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Sales Of Existing Homes For June Rise 3.6 Percent, Highed Than Expectedmore big
SAN RAFAEL, CA - JULY 23: A real estate agent walks into a home during a brokers open house July 23, 2009 in San Rafael, California. The National Association of Realtors reported today that sales of existing homes were up for the third consecutive month, rising 3.6 percent in June.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Presidential candidates are talking about turmoil in the Middle East, Russia, China, immigration, gun control, and jobs. But all of them, with the exception of Jeb Bush who plans to put a cap on mortgage interest deductions, didn't talk about housing.

That will change on Friday, when Republican presidential candidates attend the New Hampshire Housing Summit in Manchester, NH. Chief economist Jonathan Smoke will be there along with Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

According to Realtor, housing affects the country's economy and has traditionally been an enormous driver of the economy. According to chief economist Jonathan Smoke, housing often accounts for around 18 percent of the country's gross domestic product and since the crash, it has hovered around 15 percent. "The current state of the housing sector causes our economy growth to be at risk," Smoke said.

Families are at risk when homeownership is at all-time lows and prices are at all-time highs. "Homeownership has been the only way that the middle class has been able to traditionally produce wealth," the chief economist said. "Everything else, including retirement plans, pales in comparison to the wealth produced from owning."

When demand is far outpacing supply, Smoke said, "There's literally not enough housing to meet the needs. The people who can pay for it pay more and more, and those who can't have to pay a more burdensome amount."

Immigration is a housing issue which is directly tied to housing in another way. Once construction is rolling again, said Smoke, we're going to need more immigrants.

Kiich Shared said housing connects all of those major issues: income inequality and immigration. "I see those problems as not being solvable unless housing is a part of the mix," Smoke said. "It takes a village to fix this problem."

Smoke is going to moderate a debate and will ask the candidates to articulate their opinions on homeownership.

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