Bolstering homeownership, the report said, could be the “single most important key to returning the United States to a path of robust economic growth.”
President Donald Trump “can get the 3 percent-plus growth he needs by just moving back the regulatory environment and giving a safe harbor for those lenders in the marketplace,” Rosen said. “I think it’s something that can be done by changing regulations rather than a bill in Congress.”
“Lenders are very reluctant to go outside of a very conservative lending box because of all of the penalties and multibillion dollar fines,” he said.
But Rosen stopped short of calling for a prerecession regulatory environment, which in certain cases allowed people to get mortgages without a steady job or credit score. Instead, he urged a 2002-type environment.
Rosen, also chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, said part of the reason homeownership is so important to GDP is it’s a multiplier effect: When people buy a new house, they spend on everything from refrigerators to furniture to landscaping.