MReport October 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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56 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST DATA Struggling Along A survey revealed why older homeowners are finding it hard to keep up with housing costs. A recent survey from PropertyShark states that 30% of respon- dents over the age of 45 stated they've struggled with housing costs over the past year. The report states those with lower incomes reported higher rates of housing-cost burdens, but cost-related issues were apparent on all economic levels, including retirement timelines. Of those earning between $20,000 and $40,000 a year, 42% of respondents say the struggled with housing costs. That num- ber falls to 27% for those making between $40,000 and $60,000. "This suggests that, beyond shift- ing attitudes regarding retirement— with many older adults choosing to stay employed for reasons other than financial concerns—there is also a strong need for continued employment to keep up with the daily cost of life," the report states. For respondents that make be- tween $60,000 and $100,000, 42% said they had issues with the cost of housing. Just 6% of respondents who make more than $100,000 found it difficult to keep up with housing costs. Homeowners looking to retire within the next five years are the most financially stable, as 23% had difficulty with housing costs. That number increases to 30% and 31%, respectively, for people retiring in the next five to 10 years. While 30% of seniors struggle with housing costs, 82% are not interested in monetizing extra space in their homes for addition- al income. Eight percent of senior homeowners are exploring ways to bring in additional income through extra space. Despite their struggles in the market, a report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicated that the senior housing market remained solid in Q2 2019, falling just one point from the prior quarter. The NAHB states the drop was due to "softness in traffic of prospective buyers." "Although the single-family [Housing Market Index] fell slightly, builder sentiment still remains strong for this segment of the market," said Karen Schroeder, Chair of NAHB's 55+ Housing Industry Council and VP of Mayberry Homes in East Lansing, Michigan. "In fact, the reading of 71 is just one point off from the all-time high of 72 from the previ- ous quarter. We expect the 55+ housing market to continue on a positive path moving forward." The Absolute Essentials Some amenities, if not provided in a home, can be a deal breaker for millennial homebuyers. W hile they might desire many home features, some are nec- essary to have for millennial homebuyers, according to a sur- vey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The NAHB survey asked recent and prospective millennial buyers to rate 175 home features in four categories—essential, desirable, indifferent, and do not want. It revealed that at least four out of five millennials preferred laundry rooms, hardwood front exteriors, patios, and garage storage. Of these, the laundry room was a feature that millennials deemed absolutely essential with 86% of millennials surveyed needing this feature in their home. A walk-in pantry was also high on the list of things millennials desired, along with exterior light- ing, a front porch, and table space for eating. Millennials also listed a double sink among their top 10 desired features. But these preferences were different from baby boomers and seniors, the survey indicated. Walk-in pantry, front porch, table space, and a double sink were not among the top 10 home features desired by the older generations. Elevators featured as an ame- nity that millennials said they could do without. In fact, 47% from this age-group said that they were least likely to want this fea- ture, followed by cork flooring in the main living spaces (33%), and wine cellars (32%). Laminate coun- tertops, golf course, high-density community, pet washing station, only shower stalls and dual toilets in the master bath, and laminate flooring were some of the other features that millennials said they could do without in their homes. The survey also revealed that preferences for the master bed- room features have also changed dramatically over the years. It found that today 60% millennials preferred one full master bedroom suite plus three standard bed- rooms and 40% wanted two full master bedroom suites plus one standard bedroom. In 2007, this ratio was 80-20. While 30% of seniors struggle with housing costs, 82% are not interested in monetizing extra space in their homes for additional income.

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