MReport August 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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TH E M R EP O RT | 11 TAKE 5 MDWELL solutions that we may co-create with them in order to be prepared for these future changes. We are publishing all this information at M // How does Freddie Mac's Green Choice program work to influence affordability? GARDNER //Data from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies suggests that over 80% of homes in the United States are at least 20 years old, and at least 40% of homes in the U.S. are at least 50 years old. We hope that as these properties are modern- ized, or, as new properties are built, that borrowers take the opportunity to think about how they might reduce their overall monthly housing expenses in addition to contributing to a sustainable environment by taking advantage of new energy-efficient technologies. We released the GreenCHOICE Mortgage, which can be used for a purchase or for a refinance. We permit up to 15% of the completed appraisal values to be used to finance energy-efficient enhance- ments such as solar panels, tank- less hot water heaters, additional insulation, and the like. Freddie Mac has also been active with the Appraisal Institute, and one of the things that we note about energy-efficient reno- vation and construction is that consumers may not realize that it is not just the renovation, but the longer-term benefits of the renovation—not just value of their appraisal—that will be realized through the growth of equity and resale of the property. M // What are some other ways that technology is changing the way Freddie Mac supports its commitment to affordable homeownership? GARDNER //If you think about the mortgage origination process, there tends to be a large fixed cost component. At the end of the day, it is the borrower who bears the cost of the loan origination. Any enhancement that we make to the mortgage loan origina- tion process—and the servicing process, for that matter—that can be more certain and more efficient will transfer to lower costs, not only for our lenders, but also, ultimately, for the families. When you're talking about a lower loan balance, or some- body who is of lower income, those fixed costs are actually considerably more meaningful to them than someone who has a higher purchase priced home, and certainly more income to sustain that amount. We provide our customers with the tools to expedite the origination process with borrowers. It's true that time is money, and if consumers have the opportunity to have shorter contracting periods, shorter rate lock periods, which results in true savings to families. Best Housing Markets for Single Mothers The homeownership rate for single mothers has declined in recent years. Which markets remain as ideal locales for this demographic? T he homeownership rate for single mothers nationally in 2017 fell to 31%, which is the most current data available, according to a report by Redfin. Redfin's data shows that the 31% homeownership rate is on par with the 2016 rate, but down from 35.5% in 2010. The overall homeownership rate nationally is 63.9%, which is also down from almost 70% in 2010. Over the same period of time, median home prices have increased form $207,000 in July 2010 to $291,000 in July 2017. "For single mothers, it can be difficult to purchase a home in housing markets where prices are going up and up," Salt Lake City Redfin agent Ryan Aycock said. "Salt Lake City, along with other Utah communities, have been actively looking for ways to help single mothers and other people on budgets achieve home ownership, and many people have been able to through loan op- tions like the Utah Housing Corporation and various government grants that assist with down payments. This ultimately leads to increased neighborhood stability through homeownership." Source: Redfin, "McAllen, Texas, Salt Lake City, and Grand Rapids Have the Highest Homeownership Rates for Single Mothers" 10 Best Housing Markets for Single Mothers 1. McAllen, Texas 2. Salt Lake City, Utah 3. Grand Rapids, Michigan 4. Minneapolis, Minnesota 5. Albuquerque, New Mexico 6. El Paso, Texas 7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana 8. Columbia, South Carolina 9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 10. San Antonio, Texas 10 Worst Housing Markets for Single Mothers 1. Fresno, California 2. Los Angeles, California 3. San Diego, California 4. Bakersfield, California 5. Memphis, Tennessee 6. Las Vegas, Nevada 7. Dayton, Ohio 8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 9. Virginia Beach, Virginia 10. Sacramento, California "We are already starting to see trends of what I would call 'densification,' or multiple generations living under one household. Sometimes that can be done under an existing structure, but other times it will require modification of the structure to accommodate multiple generations within that single household."

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