You might think that any campaigner from a governor, to a congressperson, to the president could all but lock in a victory by talking about housing. But every major campaign has stayed away from it, including the presidential campaigns. That’s because housing is still a huge nightmare.
The presidential campaigns have been criticized for their “math” not adding up on various economic proposals. For housing, the math doesn’t even exist yet. The problem is still enormous. While housing itself is turning around, Fannie and Freddie are nightmares. Remember Fannie and Freddie were supposed to be private enterprises. They aren’t these days and they will need to be wound down and replaced or set loose. This will be a problem much like our wars in that it will take years to get sorted out. The FHA isn’t in much better shape having taken on a lot more mortgage volume in the last few years.
The trouble for most everyone in a campaign is housing is a non-partisan issue. It’s a problem that has to be sorted on in DC, while the housing market itself sorts out all over the country. Most of the fixes proposed by Obama were supported by Romney as well. So when an issue is agreed upon it seems to fall through the cracks.
Interestingly, many campaigners could have still tried to differentiate themselves as a means of winning votes. That they didn’t tells you how bad the problem is, and no one knows how to solve it. The housing market is trying to turn itself around. But the behind the scenes mess continues and will weigh down the market for some time to come.