As the largest segment of homebuyers—34% of the market—Millennials (ages 36 and younger) are the focus of interest for mortgage originators.
Many lenders have been helping Millennials purchase homes with a multi-prong approach that includes homebuyer education, flexible financing options and mortgage insurance (MI). With MI, qualified borrowers can make down payments as low as 3% rather than the 20% down typically required without MI.
With all the attention on Millennials, could lenders be overlooking opportunities with other buyer segments? The 2017 Generational Trends Report, published by the National Association of Realtors, and related research reveals surprising strength in three key customer segments:
- Single women account for 17% of all homebuyers (2016) and are buying homes at more than twice the rate of single men
- Generation Xers (ages 37 to 51) have a 28% share of the housing market and tend to buy the largest, most expensive homes
- Hispanic buyers make up nearly half of all first-time homebuyers and were credited with 74% of the net growth in overall U.S. home ownership (2016) by a recent Hispanic Wealth Project report
“Many of these individuals would welcome seminars on what’s required to buy a home and the benefits of home ownership,” said Arch MI Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jim Jumpe. “Saving for a down payment is a challenge for nearly all renters, not just Millennials. Presenting seminars created especially for singles, Gen Xers or the Hispanic community sends the clear signal you’re a lender who values these customers and offers mortgage solutions for them. It really helps you stand out from other loan originators.”
To create home-buying seminars, many lenders use Arch MI’s Roadmap to Home Ownership (RtHO), a free toolkit created to educate, encourage and qualify prospective first-time borrowers. It consists of a set of customizable presentation materials for lenders to print with their own logos inserted for in-house home-buying seminars in cooperation with local Realtors.
All the single ladies
Single women account for more than one-third of the growth in real estate ownership since 1994, according to a Quicken Loans blog post.
“It’s amazing to me there’s been so little media attention on the phenomenon of single women now purchasing nearly one-sixth of all homes,” Jumpe said. “Educational seminars designed primarily for single women can be an important step in delivering the message that singles routinely qualify for mortgages to reap all of the benefits of building equity in a home.”
By leveraging Arch MI’s Roadmap to Home Ownership toolkit, lenders can offer seminars on a range of topics:
- Strategies for Singles: Flexible Options for First-Time Homebuyers
- Improving Your Retirement Equation by Building Equity and Value in a Home
- The True Cost of Renting Versus Buying
Another opportunity lies in shifting attention to older buyers, including Gen Xers who account for more than a quarter of home sales and tend to have higher incomes than Millennials.
According to the Realtors’ report, 27% of buyers in this age group who have debt are dealing with student loans incurred, in many cases, for their children’s education. Also, 12% of Gen Xers who bought a home in 2016 selected a multi-generational house with added room to accommodate a parent or an adult child.
More than a quarter of Gen X borrowers are first timers, but virtually anyone can benefit from homebuyer education emphasizing the latest updates for borrowers, including down payment flexibility and options for borrowers with student loans. Possible seminar topics include:
- Helping Your Adult Child Transition to Home Ownership
- Mom Is Moving Nearby: The Benefits of Buying
- Financing a Multi-Generational House
The Hispanic Market
Since 2000, Hispanics have added more than three million new homeowners while the overall number of U.S. homeowners declined by 53,000, according to the Hispanic Wealth Project’s annual State of Hispanic Homeownership report.
The organization’s report outlines key obstacles to home ownership for Hispanics:
- The difficulty of saving enough for a large down payment
- The lack of available homes
- A shortage of Spanish-speaking real estate and mortgage professionals
The report states that real estate companies and lenders should forge partnerships with real estate professionals in the Hispanic community and involve them in events such as buyer education sessions and first-time home-buyer seminars.
For free resources to assist homebuyers with affordable financing and education solutions, see Arch MI’s Roadmap to Home Ownership toolkit.