Realogy CEO calls for housing summit

Aug.August 08, 2011 12:37 PM

The CEO of U.S. real estate company Realogy Corporation, owner of major brokerages the Corcoran Group, Century 21 and Coldwell Banker, is calling on the White House to hold a “housing summit,” the Wall Street Journal reported, an event that would address hurdles facing the housing market.

Such an event would give “the benefit of unfiltered, real-time market feedback,” Richard Smith wrote in a letter sent this past Friday to President Barack Obama. “Now that the debt ceiling is behind the administration, behind Congress, they need to be focused on housing,” he said.

It is not immediately clear what ideas such a summit might produce, the Journal said. While some policymakers have campaigned for aggressive loan modifications, others say the government should back out of real estate markets.

Rather than retreading old ground, Smith said the summit should focus on accelerating foreclosures on vacant homes.

“The sooner that vacant home that’s in foreclosure is purchased and capital is back into the marketplace, … the sooner you start seeing a housing recovery,” he said. “Continued intervention of the government, while very well-intentioned, is making this far more protracted.” [WSJ]

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