MReport November 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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44 | 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 ORIGINATION Is Homeownership Still the American Dream? How people view success, when compared to owning a home, varies depending on the generation. T he idea of the American Dream has always been one centered around homeownership. How- ever, as times have changed so have people's views of this idea. A new study by Esurance reveals that the respondents were split when asked if homeowner- ship was a measure of success, as 52% said it was not. "This divide signifies a shift from previous American ideals, implying that homeownership may not be as crucial to the no- tion of success as it once was," the report states. Different generations also have varying opinions on homeownership's role in personal success. Just 38% of respondents between the ages of 18-24 view homeown- ership as a metric of personal success. That figure grows as the respondents become older: Ages 25-34 (44%); ages 35-44 (47%); ages 45-54 (49%); ages 55-64 (56%); and 55% over the ages of 65. Esurance adds that, accord- ing to CNBC, researchers at the Stanford Center of Longevity found "homeownership declining most steeply among people under the age of 30 when compared to other generations," as some feel homeownership doesn't seem like a realistic goal due to rising student debt and home costs. Zillow supports this claim, as its fourth annual Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends found prospective buyer with medical debt are more likely to be denied a mortgage, while those with stu- dent debt put off buying a home. The report found that 16% of all buyers had medical debt while 20% carried student loan debt. Forty-four percent of home- owners and two-thirds of renters with medical debt say they couldn't cover an unforeseen $1,000 expense—compared to half of all renters and one-fifth of homeowners. According to the report, 39% of buyers said student debt led to a delay in buying a home and also impacts how much they can put down, affecting budgets for decades. Although Esurance states homeownership rates have risen nearly 20% since 1940, the number of people under the age of 30 not buying a home continues to grow. The study found that 30% of prospective buyers want to make sure homeownership is a smart financial investment. Twenty-two percent of respon- dents responded that homeowner- ship was a "personal dream" and just 18% said it was the American Dream.

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