JONESBORO, Ga.--President Bush said he would use his executive authority to reduce insurance premiums on 15-year mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
The White House said the change would reduce the up-front premium paid at closing by an average of $650., based on an average loan amount of $65,000.
The announcement came after the President again attacked the Democratic Congress. He asserted that the economy wouldn't be in such poor shape if lawmakers had passed proposals laid out in his State of the Union address, including one for a $5,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers.
Stimulus to Sales
Mr. Bush claimed that the tax break would have led to the sale of 400,000 additional homes this year and the construction of 120,000 more housing units.
The National Association of Realtors, however, has estimated that the tax credit would have added about 150,000 home sales annually, and 50,000 new homes started.
The National Association of Home Builders praised Mr. Bush's effort to reduce the cost of home ownership.
Not a Popular Kind of Loan
However, few first-time home buyers select 15-year mortgages, which are preferred by high-income home buyers.
The President's attack on Congress comes in spite of a proposed $2,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers in a tax bill pending in the Senate.
Mr. Bush opposes that measure, which includes $31 billion of tax cuts for businesses and individuals, because it raises revenue by limiting tax breaks for high-income individuals.