President Barack Obama told a Phoenix audience Thursday his policies have turned around the housing slump, with home sales and construction up and foreclosures at their lowest level since 2006.
He also announced a new initiative — trimming the cost of FHA mortgage insurance premiums — to help more people buy their first home.
Administration officials said the cut would save the average homebuyer about $900 a year and would help 800,000 who refinance their mortgages save money. They also said it will entice 250,000 people to buy homes over the next three years.
The rate cut will take effect by the end of January.
Arizona has been a symbol of both the nation's real estate crisis — and its recovery.
Obama said the upturn in the housing industry is "no accident."