July 2016 - Lessons Learned

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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TH E M R EP O RT | 25 FEATURE 888.653.8357 Identify Associations Retrieve Pertinent Documents Determine Account Statuses Compliance & Complete Payment Services H O A A C C O U N T M A N A G E M E N T H O A A C C O U N T M A N A G E M E N T It's important to factor in interest rates and income growth—the drivers of consumer house-buying power—into the change in house prices. Real house prices, which consider consumer house-buying power, show housing is more affordable than many suggest. power—factoring in that incomes have fi- nally begun to rise and interest rates are still low—this drops to a much more modest 2.1 percent. House prices are likely to continue rising in the years ahead, but as long as they are closely matched by increasing homebuy - ing power, American homebuyers should be able to keep up. Turning the Corner T he evidence points to a simple conclu- sion: Homeownership is poised to turn the corner. Not only are houses more affordable than they were before the reces- sion, but the demographic trends that are central to an increase in homeownership are making impressive gains. Rather than homeownership being under threat, we believe it's ready to thrive. Make no mistake: Homeownership faces challenges in the years ahead. Access to credit continues to be a major factor in determin - ing when and whether people join the ranks of homeowners. Similarly, we as a society must take steps to ensure that we continue to make educational, income, and socio- economic gains at every level of society. But these are all challenges that can be overcome. In fact, it is critically important that we overcome them. Homeownership is one of the most important—if not the most important—forms of wealth creation for middle- and low-income Americans. It is the foundation that families will build upon for the rest of their lives, improving not only their own lives but the lives of those around them and their communities. As millions of people past and present can attest, homeown - ership is at the heart of the American Dream. Right now, the conventional wisdom holds that homeownership is harder than ever to achieve, and it's pushing the American Dream out of reach for future generations. Isn't it time we proved this wisdom wrong? MARK FLEMING serves as the chief economist for First American Financial Corporation, a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions that traces its heritage back to 1889. In his role, he leads an economics team responsible for analysis, commentary and forecasting trends in the real estate and mortgage markets. Real Prices Remain Well Below Historic Levels House Prices (SA, Jan. 2000-100)

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