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RISMEDIA, Dec. 10, 2008-Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has endorsed a four-point proposal to jumpstart housing activity and is encouraging its members to promote this position to their elected officials.

Authored by LeadingRE broker Lennox Scott of John L. Scott Real Estate and the company’s mortgage partner, Erik Hand of Response Mortgage, the proposal focuses on four steps designed to generate housing purchases:

To make the $7,500 first time buyer credit non-repayable, to allow it to be credited to the buyer at closing, and to extend this offer to all buyers. The estimated cost of at least the first two elements is $18 billion, a relatively small portion of the dollars being discussed, but one which would serve as a strong buyer incentive.

To establish a federal down payment assistance program equal to 3.5% of the purchase price up to the FHA loan limits to augment efforts at the state and local levels.

To purchase Fannie-Mae and Freddie-Mac backed securities to lower borrowing costs for American homebuyers, in keeping with recent Treasury discussions that could lower interest rates to 4.5%.

To increase the permanent high cost area loan limits to 125% of each market’s median sales price for Agency and FHA loans in an effort to provide more balanced assistance to buyers in more expensive areas.

Further details of the proposal are provided in the full John L. Scott Housing Stimulus Plan document.

“We recognize that any housing stimulus plan contains the risk of unintended consequences,” comments LeadingRE President/CEO Pam O’Connor, “but inaction to provide incentives for those buyers who do have the wherewithal to purchase will almost surely result in many more foreclosures and declining prices that affect all homeowners. Housing is the single area that has the greatest potential to positively impact the overall economy, and it is vital that we act sooner rather than later.”

The plan being endorsed by LeadingRE complements most of that being proposed by the National Association of Realtors®.

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