Housing remarks; Obama to reduce FHA mortgage premium rate

President Obama is expected to talk about housing in two ways; he will claim success in dealing with the real estate crash going back several years, and he will be announcing a new push to make home buying more affordable.

When he speaks, he will propose a drop in the Federal Housing Administration Mortgage Insurance Premium by half a percentage point. It's welcome news if you're looking to buy a house.

The FHA program is for the first time buyers and with the decrease in mortgage insurance on a $250,000 purchase price, they will save $100 per month.

The rate drop comes at the right time, says the President of the Arizona Association of Realtors.

"Our picture as I look at the last two-quarters in the Phoenix marketplace, we have kind of stalled," said Jim Sexton.

Still, things are better than they were a few years ago, according to realtors who remember how dismal the housing market was during the early stages of Mr. Obama's first term.

"Well, there is no denying whether you like the President or not, the things they have put in place have made a dramatic effect on the market," said Neil Brooks.

FOX 10 asked Jim Sexton what his personal message was to President Obama. "Thank you and keep up the good work, the housing market is an important component of the national economy, and paying attention to it will help a ton of Americans," he said.

The President's move may draw objections from Republicans who do not want HUD to play such a large role in the housing market. Advocates for the housing industry have been encouraging the President to lower the fees to spark more home sales.
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