The first presidential debate sparked a lot of discussion about “Big Bird.” News reporters and pundits are still analyzing and handicapping who won and who lost that evening. The October 3, 2012, debate did not include any meaningful discussion of the U.S. housing crisis, what the spill-over effect might be from the European debt crisis, or infrastructure financing. It appears that both candidates acknowledge that whoever wins the presidential election, the U.S. economy is not likely to change in the short run. The 2% annualized rate of real gross domestic product is not likely to change even if the financial cliff is somehow avoided. Consumer demand is still constrained by stagnate wages and low job growth. In addition, we will see a drop in take home pay when the cut in social security withholding expires in 2013.
Even well qualified borrowers are having difficulty getting a mortgage, as I can personally attest to. We are attempting to refinance our home to take advantage of the low interest rates – the refinance process is a paperwork and administrative nightmare. That is just refinance, not new home mortgages. The housing crisis is not over; it just appears that voters have become numb to the sector’s ongoing problem. Growth, infrastructure, and real estate finance are of paramount concern to the construction industry. Perhaps these issues will be on the table in tonight’s debate.