Experts say Candidates Ignoring Florida Foreclosure Crisis
October 24, 2012 | WMFE - The presidential and vice-presidential debates are over but a recent report from the real estate information service RealtyTrac says the candidates have mostly ignored Florida's housing crisis. Florida experts are weighing in on what politicians need to do after the election to get the state's housing market back on track.
Ken H. Johnson of the Hollow School of Real Estate at Florida International University says Democratic leadership in Washington put in place several programs that softened the housing market's fall.
"Housing in South Florida was not at its most affordable level. It is now.” Johnson says. “The market should provide the solution rather than some government issued solution."
Johnson says the recovery is going to rely now on consumers taking advantage of low interest rates and buying again.
But, potential homeowners first need access to financing before they can buy. Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida Chief Operating Officer Leeann Robinson says the Dodd-Frank bill, which was passed to better protect consumers, is currently hurting the housing recovery.
"Most of the banks are not able to move forward until the regulation is fully vetted, fully described, fully outlined as far as what their responsibilities are and right now it's just too unknown.” Robinson says. “In general, it's made lending much more difficult, more less lucrative and much harder."
Robinson says she would like to see the government offer incentives for banks to loan more to people who want to buy a home for themselves.
"Those properties are currently being scooped up by investors so the owner occupants don't have a chance.” She continued. “The investors are buying for pennies on the dollar whereas the owner occupants would buy at market price and those properties would be more stable because the home-buyers would stay in those homes for a longer period of time."
Florida has the highest rate of foreclosures in the country right now according to numbers released earlier this month by RealtyTrac.