Wiles: Homebuyers may have enough help already

Wiles

By WilesRuss Wiles, The Republic | azcentral.com

When presidents feel the itch to boost the nation’s homeownership rate, you can bet they’re mulling a flight out to Sky Harbor International Airport. The Phoenix metro area has become a launching pad for housing initiatives, for better or worse.

President Obama’s stop here Thursday, with an eye on cutting mortgage-insurance premiums to help first-time buyers, felt a bit like President Bush’s visit in March 2004, when he was busy promoting downpayment assistance to low-income households at a time when the market was getting overheated and homeownership already was near record highs. We all know how that worked out, along with other tinkerings along the way, such as the first-time homebuyer tax credit of several years ago.

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