Century 21 chief exec to Obama: it's time for a White House 'housing summit'

The head of a major U.S. real-estate company is calling on the White House to hold a “housing summit” to address some of the major hurdles holding back the housing market.

By Mary Beth Nevulis, HousingZone Contributing Editor | August 8, 2011
real estate, housing market, white house, real estate business management

The head of a major U.S. real-estate company is calling on the White House to hold a “housing summit” to address some of the major hurdles holding back the housing market, according to the Wall Street Journal’s blog.

Such an event would give “the benefit of unfiltered, real-time market feedback,” Realogy Corp. Chief Executive Richard Smith wrote in a letter sent Friday to President Barack Obama. Realogy owns major brokerages Century 21 and Coldwell Banker, among others.

Smith said the summit should bring together top business leaders from the real-estate, housing-finance and home-building industries.

It’s not clear what ideas such a summit might produce. While many policymakers have called for more aggressive loan modifications, including principal write-down, some industry players have argued that the government should do less to intervene in the distressed real-estate markets.

Smith said he wouldn’t want any summit to be dominated by discussions of new modification programs, and he said that policies should instead focus on accelerating foreclosures on vacant homes.

For more information: http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2011/08/07/should-housing-be-the-next-white-house-summit/

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