“Indeed, as we go forward, there seems to be a lot of room for consensus and common ground for minimizing the impact of the correction on homeowners, communities, and the economy.
The notion seems pretty fundamental in this country that a prosperous, sustainable society is built on stable communities where the right to own property gives citizens a stake in the place where they live. And so it is in our shared interest to work to stabilize the communities where that stake is in jeopardy. If families have the means to own a home, it should be possible to help them stay there. If not, we should be able to find rental housing. In most cases, we should focus on affording consumers the time and flexibility to work through this crisis.
Moreover, on the other side of the correction, underneath the turmoil, there are fundamental factors supporting a strong, stable housing market, and we want to get back there as quickly and smoothly as possible, so that housing resumes its role as a stable contributor to the GDP.
Our nation is growing. Immigration, economic expansion, and demographics all drive the demand for homeownership. Over the next 10 years, one way or another, the US population is expected to grow by over 26 million people. They will create 15 million new households. They will demand 2 million new homes built every year. I believe as the current cycle works itself out, and the correction turns to recovery, home price growth will reassert itself at sustainable rates.
The question for the state of the economy is simply whether we pull together and deliver a recovery sooner, or we wait and hope until later, at the cost of time, money, and human suffering. The state of American business in 2008 and beyond will depend on the choices we make about housing today.”