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Idea of the Day: The Federal Government Has Helped the Housing Market

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More than five years into the worst foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression, we’re finally starting to see signs of a housing recovery. Home prices have risen in markets across the country for three consecutive months. Construction on new homes has surged to its highest levels since 2008. Foreclosure filings are at a five-year low, while foreclosed properties now make up the smallest percentage of home sales since the crisis began.

The recent upswing has made the nation’s largest financial institutions optimistic. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon announced earlier this month that “the housing market has turned the corner,” while Wells Fargo’s Tim Sloan similarly said that his company has “seen a turn” in the market.

There’s no shortage of opinions on why the housing market is suddenly on the mend and who’s responsible for turning it all around. But few observers credit the federal government, which has provided extraordinary levels of support to the housing sector since the crisis began. Here are five ways in which the government helped nurse the market back to (relative) health.

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This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here