OpinionIndustry News

Real estate’s December report card

Guest perspective: Can Bush plan fix housing mess?

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This month, we focus on the government's impact on housing. Paulson-Bush Plan -- Much Ado About Nothing We can't find anyone credible who believes the Paulson-Bush plan that was announced on Dec. 6 will significantly help the housing market. According to UBS, as many as 340,000 borrowers would be eligible for avoiding an ARM reset, which is only a small percentage of the borrowers who will have difficulty making the mortgage payments on their homes. Most of these homes are or will be worth less than the mortgage anyway, so who is really getting helped in the long run? I am not hoping for any kind of federal assistance other than dropping interest rates to the levels they were at several years ago. This will help homeowners stay in their homes and help banks continue lending. Both seriously and sarcastically, I just hope that Congress doesn't make things worse, like they have done in so many past downturns, by passing laws that look great on the surface but exacerbate the problem. Flur...