Housing market could be Bernanke’s greatest challenge

August 26, 2009 12:09PM

CNBC’s Erin Burnett led a discussion yesterday on why the housing market could be Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s biggest challenge to economic recovery. Citing a comment from Case-Shiller co-creator Robert Shiller, in which the Yale professor predicted that home prices would increase by just 6 percent in the next five years, CNBC correspondent Diana Olick commented that the housing market outlook could be even bleaker. “Three factors were left out [of Shiller’s report] that could be actually juicing the numbers to the upside,” Olick said, referring to the first-time homebuyer tax credit, the second-quarter foreclosure moratorium, and the fact that Shiller’s data was not seasonally adjusted. Bianco Research CEO James Bianco agreed that the market future could be rougher than thought. “The low-end home prices are really moving up,” Bianco said, but added that this was largely due to the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers. “The middle- and high-end [are] not moving up. What happens when those tax credits come off and the moratoriums come off — does the market sink back down?”