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Reports on the housing market tonight housing starts off 15%.
It's the fastest improvement in seventeen months according to the Commerce Department.
But building permits a gauge of future construction of course down 5% that's the lowest level in five months.
The struggling housing market also dealing with about three million homes in some stage of foreclosure this year and -- housing vacancy rate that's over.
In this country.
Joining me now to.
Give us some insight -- perspective on all of this is one of the foremost experts on housing in the country Richard -- the CEO of religious.
But the company as I -- of a number prestigious brands including Coldwell Banker.
A century 21 -- -- -- Richard also recently named by smart money magazine as one of its power thirty a list of the world's most influential.
Influential figures in the financial world.
Along with the Ben Bernanke.
Who's had some problems with some quite good to have you with security regulations.
You have called for a White House summit on -- Nothing in response.
What is going on -- Why is there not an initiative here to.
-- response to your initiative on housing there couldn't be more important more critical to our economy.
Apparently the administration has other priorities.
You're right they did not respond to our call for a White House summit on housing so the private sector -- its -- The Progressive Policy Institute launched.
Very important conference -- -- in the early part of October attracted most the leading experts on housing.
And there is a couple of important themes that were developed as a result of that conference that I think will be helpful to the administration.
If they'll just listen.
And what are the most important things.
Did you coalesced around.
Who are there to do to recurring themes and I and I don't speak for the big conference in general these were these were apparent -- one do no harm.
The government should get out weigh on most of the initiatives that have been attempted and failed so get out a way.
That that was them very important theme and then the lack of a coherent national housing policy.
There's so many national issues that are up in the air from a policy standpoint.
They need to be put together in a national policy like -- Wells an example we have the GSE -- out there there for any of Fannie and Freddie that are in never neverland and what's gonna become of them.
-- there's a lot of discussion about FHA and FHA's role going forward I mean those are huge issues.
Does the idea of getting out of the way entail moving.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and FHA out of the way I think.
There are sort of institutionalized.
Their -- -- foundational to the US economy they can over time.
But two to go blocked Y in on off is not gonna work and I think the administration -- come to that realization.
And where are we headed tonight reporting 15%.
It building permits down 5% concurrently.
What are we to make that happen this is a low base right so that's poppies are off depressed levels so we're we're happy to see some improvement.
The new construction today I know it's very it's a big focus for the media in the financial press.
About five to 6% of business right now the existing home market and missile or more meaningful right now is a matter of fact I.
I infer from these numbers 15%.
In and housing starts.
Why in this market where -- in is a reporter we are 14% vacancy rates what are we doing here why why.
This makes no sense at least on -- surface to me.
Well other building and they're did these are not speculative build them in these these -- understand or other -- building that -- -- -- -- a contract that they can rely on.
That's the good news I mean I I continue to be amazed that we're selling much of anything in this market given the economic news the macro issues continue to be pretty compelling.
And are putting housing under a lot of pressure.
So in spite of that housing is doing okay.
And market by market this is it's always reported in national -- but as you were the first to point out.
This is region by region city by city market by market as a threat it's a sign of a slow recovery.
The painful recovery but a slow recovery now it's very very fragile.
And if the government makes the wrong decisions at the wrong time it could put us back into the recessionary mode but there is to slow slow recovery occurring.
We've we've gotten -- with him and that is terrific I'll take slow.
I also will take some guidance about which of these candidates is making some sense on -- I frankly have not heard from one of the Republican -- And intelligent either discussion or proposition on housing and assessment of housing and its importance to our economy and terms of policies you were talking about at the outset and certainly not from this administration.
Well it's a very complex issue when I said the housing is okay that's on the sell side you still have structural issues that you still have this huge -- -- problem.
You have a substantial percentage of people were underwater in their equity.
Those issues have to be addressed and they're so complex.
-- -- -- -- afraid of them they're not reaching out to people like us pork industry experts to try to foreign policy.
It should they just don't want this to become an election year issue in spite of the fact that it's obvious.
-- -- This is.
When I get extraordinarily frustrated with presidential politics.
Because there seems instead of an effort which is this is our great opportunity as a nation every four years to build national consensus.
And both political parties and often their.
Working as hard as they can to avoid a discussion of the most important issues and this certainly as you say chief among them.
Perhaps Richard Smith will be of change the world will give -- our -- Richard thanks for being with -- --
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