The only way to fix the country’s housing problem is for Republicans and Democrats to sit in a room together and talk about housing policy until they agree, according to one presidential hopeful at the Bipartisan Policy Center New Hampshire Housing Summit on Friday. Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked about other issues despite the fact that the event was a housing summit—but he never strayed too far from housing during a discussion on stage with Carl Cameron of Fox News and a Q and A session with the audience.
Cameron asked Christie what he would do in the first 100 days of his presidency to put the country on a bipartisan path to close the gap so that people who are trapped in renting and want to own a home can do so. Christie responded that the way to do it is to bring all the Republicans and Democrats from Congress and put them together and ask each side what it can live with and to stay together until they come up with a list of items that both sides agree on. And as president, he said, he would support the list that the sides agree on.
A missing ingredient needed to bolster the housing recovery has been a stronger pace of household formation—which is beginning to pick up after eight years of running at low levels, according to CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft in the company’s recently released September MarketPulse. That trend might be reversing, however. In the first half of 2015, the number of new households grew by 1 point 7 million from the same period in 2014, the largest growth experienced in a decade. Labor market improvements have also played a role in the recent acceleration in household formation.