MReport March 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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54 | 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 Buying a Home is a Top Priority for Americans Led by millennials, an increasing number of Americans are looking to buy a home as an investment option. A mericans want to buy homes and they want to buy them as an investment option. Ac - cording to a study on homebuyers by NerdWallet, a personal finance website, 75 percent of Americans say that buying a home was a priority for them. NerdWallet analyzed data of more than 2,000 adults surveyed, the company's mortgage calculator, data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and other sources to develop the study on current homebuying senti - ments, concerns, and outlook. The study found most Americans considered buying a home as a good investment, with 64 percent of the people surveyed citing this as a reason to buy a home. And it's not only the older generation that feels this way. Around 56 percent of millennials felt they would rather own a home that appreciated in value than have more money in retirement savings, reflecting the sentiment of 52 percent of all survey participants. In fact, 82 percent of millen - nials said buying a home was a priority, compared with 75 percent of Generation X and 69 percent of Baby Boomers, accord- ing to the survey. Millennials also aspired to buy more homes on average throughout their lifetimes and were most likely to say they would like to buy a home to rent out for extra income. However, home costs are a top concern for most Americans who rent. Though 91 percent of the people surveyed said they would like to own at least one home during their lifetime, 88 percent of current renters had concerns about purchasing one due to cost. The survey also found 35 percent re - ported they were currently renting their primary residence but only 17 percent said they preferred renting to owning regardless of their current living situation. Renters with homebuying con - cerns also cited the mortgage application process as what kept them from buying a home, with 28 percent saying they were concerned about this process. Loan servicing, pay - ments, modification and collections were some of the pet peeves of homebuyers against mortgage lenders. According to the survey, which analyzed data from the CFPB, approximately 3,338 complaints filed with the CFPB in 2017 related specifically to the mortgage application or underwrit - ing processes. However, thousands were directly related to getting a mortgage in the first place. When it came to the down payment, the survey, using NerdWallet's mortgage calculator data, indicated potential buyers intended to put down approxi - mately 20 percent toward the down payment of a home. Homeownership, Vacancy Rates Remain Flat According to U.S. Census Bureau data, homeownership and vacancy rates didn't change much in the last quarter of 2017. B oth homeownership and homeowner vacancy rates were flat year-over- year during Q 4 2017, according to the latest quarterly Residential Vacancies and Home - ownership report released by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the Census Bureau data, the homeownership rate for Q 4 2017 was 64.2 percent, little changed from the rates for Q 3 2017 (63.9 percent) or Q 4 2016 (63.7 percent). The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6 percent for the quarter, 0.2 percent lower than a year earlier and holding steady from the Q 3 2017 total. The rental vacancy rate was considerably higher at 6.9 percent, down 0.6 percent from Q 3 2016 and flat year-over-year. During Q 4 2017, the median asking sales price for vacant "for sale" units was $197,000. The homeowner vacancy rate for the quarter was at 2.0 percent outside of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), slightly higher than in the suburbs (1.5 percent). The rate both inside principal cities and outside MSAs trended lower year-over-year, although the rate for suburbs remained flat during that period. The Q 4 2017 rental vacancy trends were similar, with higher rates outside of MSAs and rates generally flat year-over-year. The Census Bureau reports the homeowner vacancy rate was highest in the Northeast (2.0 percent), followed by the South (1.7 percent), the Midwest (1.5 per - cent), and the West (1.1 percent). Homeowner vacancies decreased in the South during Q 4 year- over-year, but remained flat in the other regions. On the rental side of things, the South saw the highest va - cancy rate at 8.8 percent, followed by the Midwest (7.6 percent), Northeast (5.5 percent), and West (4.5 percent). All four regions were flat year-over-year. Roughly 87.8 percent of U.S. housing units were occupied during Q 4 2017, according to the Census Bureau. Around 56 percent of millennials felt they would rather own a home that appreciated in value than have more money in retirement savings.

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