Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, spoke to the National Association of Home Builders meeting in Orlando, FL today. Housing continues to face difficulties and is a key factor in the currently weak and disappointing economic recovery. Bernanke pointed to too much supply in housing due to vacancies and continued foreclosures across the country. He noted that foreclosures put downward pressure on home prices. At the same time, demand for housing is soft due to unemployment, uncertain job prospects and the lack of willingness of potential buyers to commit to buying a home. Bernanke also cited the availability — or lack of availability — of mortgage credit as a key factor. Given all of these, housing may no longer be seen as a secure, must-have, investment. The speech cites various factors facing housing and how this is reflected in and weakens the overall economy.
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