Fed Help for Underwater Homeowners Won’t Help Economy

I comment on a New York Times editorial today calling for the federal government to further prop up homeowners with “underwater mortgages” over at National Review’s blog The Corner (posted at 11:44 am). I write in part:

“Right now, the housing market is struggling with a housing finance conundrum, but we shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking that solving this part of the problem will bring the housing sector back. It won’t. Regardless of what we do with foreclosures, we still have to deal with the oversupply of housing that accompanied the boom. Only when supply is brought back into balance with demand will the housing industry recover.”

Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D. is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.