C.A.R. Featured in Milken Institute’s New Report to Shape National Conversation on Housing Finance Reform

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

The CALIFORNIA
ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
® (C.A.R.) announces the release
of a new Milken Institute report on housing finance, which features
insights from C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer as well as prominent voices from
banking, state government, and academia. Titled, “Rebuilding Housing
Finance: Thoughts from California on Federal Reform,” the report
features insights from a roundtable discussion during the 2013
California Summit held at the Milken Institute’s headquarters in Santa
Monica, Calif. C.A.R. not only participated in the Summit but also
played an integral role by helping to shape the special session on
housing finance.

“To represent the voice of California REALTORS® and their interests at
such a prestigious event is valuable to our members and ensures the
challenges facing real estate professionals are part of an important
conversation on finance reform, which will shape the future of our
industry,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown, who attended the exclusive
roundtable.

As cautious optimism returns following the burst of the U.S. housing
market and legislators put forward various proposals on housing finance
reform, the implications for California are considerable, given that the
state represents a bellwether of the national housing market.

Panelists were convened to influence the national conversation, present
the perspective of key California stakeholders, and build on areas of
consensus. The California Summit, which C.A.R. sponsored, brought
together the state’s foremost leaders in industry and finance,
government, academia, and philanthropy to build relationships and
brainstorm ideas for heightening California’s impact and advancing its
interests.

The report features three key points of consensus among the
distinguished panelists:

  • Across-the-board reductions to loan limitations of government agencies
    and government-sponsored enterprises would disproportionately hurt
    states like California, where the cost of housing is high.
    Consequently, there should be a regional approach to such reductions.
  • A transition in capital requirements for investors in mortgage-backed
    securities should not happen overnight, but the transition should
    indeed require investors to at least retain enough capital to sustain
    the losses suffered in the most recent crisis.
  • In order to assist low-income and first-time home buyers, there is
    potential in creating a state-specific vehicle for affordable housing,
    such as a California guarantee fund.

There was, however, disagreement on the degree of systemic reform
needed, the risk to taxpayers of an explicit government guarantee for
mortgage-backed securities (MBS), and the correct mechanisms for future
federal support for affordable housing.

Despite the disagreement, stakeholders and panelists at the Summit
expressed a willingness to work through differences and combine the most
sensible aspects of competing plans to create a stable, accessible
housing system.

View
the full report here
.

Singer joined the following panelists to discuss housing finance: Claudia
Cappio
, executive director, California Housing Finance Agency; Dwight
Jaffee
, professor, Haas School of Business, University of
California, Berkeley; Steven
Mnuchin
, chairman and CEO, OneWest Bank; and Phillip
Swagel
, senior fellow, Milken Institute and professor, University of
Maryland School of Public Policy.

C.A.R.’s involvement at the California Summit was facilitated by the
association’s new Thought Leadership program, an initiative that
promotes intellectual engagement with a broad set of stakeholders and a
set of strategies designed to elevate C.A.R.’s reputation.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 100 years,
the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org)
is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States
with 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in
real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.