The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has a message for congressional leaders who are considering raising Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's guarantee fees (G-fees) as a means of paying for an extension of this year's payroll tax cut: don't!
‘Congress is essentially proposing to raise taxes on millions of potential home buyers in order to pay for a payroll tax cut and other non-housing legislative initiatives,’ says Bob Nielsen, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Reno, Nev. ‘With the housing market struggling to regain its footing, such a shortsighted move would be extremely counterproductive and threaten the fragile economic recovery.
‘The G-fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge lenders to protect against credit-related losses should not be used for purposes unrelated to the safety and soundness of the housing finance system,’ Nielsen adds. ‘Just as we are beginning to see modest signs of improvement in scattered housing markets across the nation where employment is gaining and consumer confidence is rising, Congress is tampering with G-fees and needlessly raising the cost of buying a home. This will jeopardize the tenuous rebound and is the last thing this economy needs.’