July 10, 2012

Lies about the gummint from the real estate world

I came across a story on MSNBC about cities either never really hit by the housing bubble, or now in an all-clear situation after earlier concerns, such as San Jose, Calif.

And saw this comment, among those from real estate people there interviewed about that "all clear": 
“We would be in the clear if the government got the heck out of the (real estate) business,” said Bob Stewart, the broker at Coldwell Banker, The Real Estate People, based in San Jose.
Would that be the feds getting out of the way by Fannie and Freddie not buying up loans, no veterans' loans, no FHA, or what? 

We all who know history know that things like veterans' loans helped boost the housing industry after World War II.

To be fair, here's why Stewart said what he did:
Under federal initiatives like HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program – during which 400 cities and counties have received billions of dollars to slash housing blight in foreclosure-ravaged neighborhoods – “speculators” have shoved local “investors” and Realtors aside, Stewart said, gobbling up distressed San Jose properties and re-selling them on the cheap.

“Speculators went out and got their (real estate) licenses and are targeting underwater properties, getting them listed at a very low price and submitting an offer immediately to the lender. If the lender accepts it, they’ve made $300,000 to $400,000 (per house),” Stewart said. “There are enough of those here getting accepted that it’s keeping our prices” lower than they should be in San Jose.
However, Mr. Stewart, it was those same "speculators" that fueled the housing boom of the previous decade, before the bubble burst. You can't logically, rationally, have it both ways.

Beyond that, somebody has to buy underwater homes. And, per conservative business lingo, isn't another phrase for "speculator" simply "venture capitalist"?

It's all part of doublespeak we often see from conservative businesses. Government is supposed to "get out of the way" except when it's supposed to "help" businesses. Such help is never called "socialism," even when it is.

When the government helps a business competing with you, then it's "in the way," but when it helps your business, then it's just "stimulating the economy."

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