Obama to lay out housing plan in Arizona
ARIZONA -- President Obama heads to Arizona today to convince America the housing market is bouncing back.
The President is heading back to where he first addressed the housing crisis in 2009. The Phoenix area has seen a significant recovery, but it's not over yet.
Home values are up 18% near the school where President Obama speaks today.
But they're digging out of a deep hole. Some Arizona homes lost half their value. "We're still below what the market value is right now," said Arizona Homeowner Jeff Guy.
Today the President pitches new ideas:
Saving $3,000 a year by making it easier to get a mortgage, or refinance, and putting more private money behind mortgages which he says will reduce the government's risk. "The strengthening of the housing market is of vital importance to the strengthening of the middle class," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
He'll offer government money to fix up abandoned foreclosures, like they did near Phoenix. "Really based on a lot of investors going into that market, buying up distressed properties and putting them up for rent," said CNBC Real Estate Correspondent Diana Olick.
The President will argue that fixing immigration helps. Immigrants make up 40% of new homeowners. "Interest rates were so low it made buying a home affordable for a lot of people," said Victor Contreras of Colonial Realty.
But now rates are rising and fewer people are applying for loans. "It's just more difficult to qualify for those loans than it used to be, and that's a good thing. You shouldn't be able to get into a house without having some significant skin to get in the game," said Mortgage Banker Craig Strent of Apex Home Loans.
A game that more Americans are trying to win.