In a Nov. 19 speech to the Economic Club of New York, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that although the housing market continues to be a high point in the overall economic recovery, it still has a long road ahead, HousingWire reported Nov. 20.
Bernanke’s speech addressed housing and mortgage financing, and he noted that increases in home sales, prices and construction were indicators of a market recovery and “clear signs of improvement” that should remain a source for jobs and economic growth.
However, despite his positive notes, Bernanke said that a delay in a full-blown recovery was the result of numerous factors, including tighter lending conditions, HousingWire reported.
Mortgage rates remaining at record lows will be crucial to improving housing affordability, and the Fed currently is aiming to improve credit conditions. Bernanke explained that as mortgage lending improves, banks likely will increase mortgage origination capacity.
Bernanke said that the Fed would continue to urge banks to make more loans on the supervisory side, as well as offer foreclosure alternatives to struggling homeowners.
On the regulatory side, central banks will aim to achieve greater financial stability by capitalizing on rules within Basel III, although Bernanke gave no indication of a deadline to finish writing the rules.