With the Iowa caucus behind us and the election year in full swing, what's the No. 1 priority for the next president? According to the results of a survey by Trulia.com, a real estate website, it's not the housing crisis. Lower unemployment and reducing the federal deficit come first.
But when asked about housing policy, respondents of the survey say they want the government to make it easier for homeowners to refinance. They also want vacant homes in their neighborhoods to be occupied by renters or owners. Among the Democrats, 74 percent are in favor of loan modification programs to reduce mortgage principal, while 61 percent of Republicans support loan modification. Both parties say they will believe in a housing recovery when they see fewer foreclosures and defaults, but more than half don't think the president can stabilize housing this year.
Distressed properties are the biggest impediment to a housing recovery, say most experts. With so many homeowners owing more than their homes are worth, there's a danger of more defaults and foreclosed properties flooding the market. The government has discussed ideas to make it attractive for investors such as hedge funds to buy foreclosed homes in bulk and turn them into rentals, but so far there's been little action.
What are your economic and housing policy priorities for the next president?
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