MReport October 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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TH E M R EP O RT | 25 COVER STORY T here's a lot of conversation going on around millen- nial homebuyers. And why not? They represent the single largest buying pool of any generation. The pop- ulation of 26- and 27-year-old adults is more than any other age band. Yet, lenders often find it difficult to reach out to this generation, who are still wary of taking the plunge into homeownership. Why aren't more millennials owning homes and what can be done to reach out to them more effectively? Experts from the lending industry answered these pressing questions during an MReport webinar titled "Hottest Buyers on the Block: Reaching Millennials" sponsored by Ellie Mae. Many millennials consider student debt to be their biggest barrier towards homeownership. A recent Urban Institute research study that looked at millennial homebuyer trends suggested that the rate of homeownership among millennials is lower compared to the previous generations because of their inability to save for a down payment thanks to the stu - dent loan debt they accumulated in the pursuit of higher education. So, what is the likelihood of a millennial who has a student loan debt of buying a home? Homeownership and Student Debt A study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that young Americans with a bachelor's degree or higher with no stu - dent loan debt accounted for 40 percent becoming homeowners by the age of 30. For those with a bachelor's degree or higher with student loan debt the likelihood of homeownership by 30 dropped to 33 percent, an as - sociate's degree with no student loan debt to 31 percent, an asso- ciate's degree with student loan debt to 24 percent, and finally those with no college checked in at 22 percent. "This data suggests that instead of being held down by student debt, furthering their education and getting a degree will go a long way in the probability of millennials becoming homeown - ers," said Kathy Cummings, SVP, Bank of America. Illustrating her point with an example from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that dem - onstrated the earnings based on education level and the cor- responding unemployment rate, Cummings said that a bachelor's degree provided $24,000 more per year compared to a high school diploma. "so even with $50,000 in student loan debt, you'll get an additional $17,600 per year—and that's a lot of buying power." Homebuying and Mortgages W hen millennials do eventu- ally decide to buy a home, several factors will impact that decision. The annual Borrower Insight Survey by Ellie Mae found that for most millennials the biggest consideration to buying a home was family formation. But that can take some time. There's evidence that shows millennials are waiting longer to get married and have children which could explain why By Radhika Ojha

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