The Mortgage Bankers Association expects new home sales growth to be flat in April, but the real story is how far behind the country has fallen behind in terms of catching up to prerecession levels, the organization's CEO and president said Friday.
"We're really way down below where overall homes sales, including new home sales, should be when you look at a prerecession level," David Stevens said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "We're nowhere near where we should be."
The association cut its forecast for new home sales in April from just over an annual rate of half a million to about 487,000. Before the recession, new home sales grew at an annual rate of about 1 million residences per year, Stevens said.
While the home affordability index has never been better for home buying, he said, consumers are still rebuilding credit after the recession and have less wealth and lower wages.
The regulatory climate in the United States is also creating tighter credit markets, he added.
"I think overall there's a need for Washington to kind of refocus in on what are the impediments being put in the marketplace that's limiting that expansion of credit access to the housing market, again within reason, because you never want to repeat what got us into this recession in the first place," he said.