Mortgage rates, loan limits and forbearance

We cover the increase in conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie and what forbearance numbers and record-low rates could mean for the housing market.

Untying business growth from the housing market cycle

Lenders need business growth that is not linear and is not tied to the market cycles – leveraging automation technology can help.

The practical use of AI for LOs

The combination of tightly-packed schedules and intensive oversight means augmenting loan officer’s efforts with intelligent systems is more relevant than ever.

HousingWire's 2020 Tech Trendsetters

This year’s list of Tech Trendsetters certainly earned their status as the industry was met with incredible challenges and new opportunities.

AwardsMagazine

2019 HW Vanguard: Thomas Sponholtz

Unison Founder and CEO

Thomas Sponholtz’s focus is clear at Unison, and it’s changing how people buy and own homes and lowering the barrier to homeownership. 

In 2004, Sponholtz founded Unison, where he invented home co-investing as an alternative to debt-only financing, which brings investors together with consumers to solve both of their problems. 

The goal Sponholtz had in mind when beginning Unison was to launch a company whose model was focused on aligning the interests of consumers with those at the source of their capital. Sponholtz led the company’s change to a direct-to-consumer business model. This inspired the company’s brand re-launch. 

In 2018, Sponholtz led Unison to a 370% year over year revenue growth, and a 308% year over year growth in customer transactions. Also in 2018, Sponholtz raised a $40 million Series B funding round for the company, which was the first time it had to seek outside investor funding since its launch. 

This year, Sponholtz expanded Unison’s HomeOwner and HomeBuyer services to eight additional states in the nation to introduce the advantages of home co-investing to over 5 million more homes. As of July 1, 2019, Unison has helped more than 5,000 people and families, with a total of $3.5 billion invested into homes. 

Sponholtz’s idea of “enlightened capitalism” and Unison’s “secret sauce” of patient capital provided by larger fund managers from pension funds and endowments enable Unison to design products that are in consumers’ best interests. Unison was designed to have interests fully aligned with its customers. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to truly believe in your mission. I have seen this advice come to life since launching Unison. There are many ups and downs when launching a business, and it is essential to be passionate and remember why you started initially.”

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The downside of the hot 2020 housing market: rapid home-price growth

The mismatch in the COVID deflationary impact toward the economy overall and the strength of the housing market due to demographics makes for a troubling formula for home-price growth, which we are seeing. The recent NAR existing home sales report showed 15.5% year-over-year growth in prices. HW+ Premium Content

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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