MReport June 2020

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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M R EP O RT | 23 COVER STORY Anywhere. Anytime. Bringing Today's Lending Headlines into Focus, MReport Digital Puts Mortgage Banking News at Your Fingertips Experts you trust. People you know. News you want. MReport is putting essential mortgage market news at your fingertips with our new digital edition, now available online via your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Enjoy the magazine at your desk, and tap into MReport Digital's easily accessible platform anywhere, anytime. Committed to giving originators, servicers, and all lending professionals access to smarter perspectives, MReport believes it's time to think differently about the mortgage industry. Because the American Dream is evolving . . . are you? Subscribe to MReport and MReport Digital now! Call 800.856.8060 or connect with us online at to take advantage of our special introductory offer! limited inventory may make it dif- ficult for potential buyers. "Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest obstacles faced by first-time home buyers, and, un- surprisingly, millennials are much more likely to get a mortgage with a lower down payment (3-5%)," she said. "The recent credit tightening will likely disproportionately hurt potential first-time home buyers." Buege, however, noted the effects of COVID-19 have made home- ownership more achievable for the "majority looking to own a home." He added while the economic shut- down has impacted many people, these individuals represent 15-20% of those negatively impacted. "While they have been tem- porarily sidelined, they should remain optimistic, because current setbacks may reverse themselves quickly," Buege said. Ferguson said the pandemic has made homebuying more difficult, especially for younger buyers, who have been working to im- prove their financial situation by reducing debts, paying off student loans, or improving their employ- ment position. "Now they're having to spend their savings or go back into debt while their income has either de- creased or been lost entirely. While the government has passed certain stimulus bills with the aim of put- ting money into consumers' pock- ets, it is doubtful that they will be enough to offset the larger impacts from loss of income," he said. Khater said the pandemic has "clearly made it harder" for mil- lennials, as they graduated in the worst recession since the Great Depression, making it more dif- ficult to become homeowners. "Now, Generation Z is going through an even worse recession than millennials, and the impact of graduating during a recession means their earnings will be lower and for an extended number of years, similar to millennials," Khater said. A Suburban Boom? A nalysis by Zillow found the majority of workers have had no issue ditching the office cubicle for the home office. A Harris Poll conducted in May found 75% of those forced to work from home due to COVID-19 said they would prefer to continue at least half of the time, if given the option, once the pandemic passes. Also, 66% of those surveyed said they would be open to moving if they had the flexibility to work from home as often as they wanted. Where would they move? According to Zillow, these consumers would be drawn to larger homes in the suburbs with larger rooms and offices, as work- ers would no longer be concerned about their commute. Kushi said this was a trend that First American was following, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as there was a movement from larger metros to smaller metros and a migration to the suburbs and exurbs from the metro centers. Also, she said there is data by the U.S. Census Bureau that shows Americans are moving from Rust Belt and Northeastern cities to markets across the Sun Belt. Data from the Census found that Texas continues to grow at a rapid pace, with four of the 10 fastest-growing counties since 2010 located within the Lone Star State. Also, three of those counties sit between San Antonio and Austin, and the fourth, Fort Bend, located in southwest Houston suburbs. Those four counties have added more than 320,000 residents—a 36% increase over their 2010 population. Kushi said while markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston are attractive desti- nations, especially for younger buyers, smaller cities such as Oklahoma City; Louisville, Kentucky; and Memphis, Tennessee, are more affordable. "It is likely that the trend of migrating to smaller metros and suburbs will continue because of millennials' lifestyle choices as they begin to age into homeown- ership, but it is too soon to tell if the pandemic will accelerate this trend," Kushi said. Living within high-density populations, Ferguson said, has lost its appeal.

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