The demographic makeup of the U.S. is shifting, providing new opportunities to offer sustainable homeownership to the growing segment of minority borrowers now in the market. Brien McMahon, chief franchise officer at Radian, sat down with HousingWire to discuss how Radian is supporting lenders in meeting this challenge.
HousingWire: How does Radian support diverse lending segments?
Brien McMahon: Radian is dedicated to ensuring that homeownership is possible for all deserving borrowers. Throughout our country’s history, a diverse population has brought vitality, creativity and growth. As housing professionals, we should do all we can to ensure that future generations have the same opportunity as past generations to enjoy the many benefits of affordable and sustainable homeownership.
At Radian, in our efforts to serve a variety of lending segments, we have forged exclusive partnerships with many of the top real estate trade associations, including the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Asian Real Estate Association of America. Working hand-in-hand with the people who know and serve these communities best enables us to support our lender partners as we strive to make the dream of sustainable homeownership come true for many Americans.
HW: Why is this an important focus for Radian?
BM: To best serve our customers, we must have a complete understanding of the housing market. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies estimates that nearly 75% of our nation’s household growth over the next decade will come from minority-headed households. As a comparison, as recently as 2012, fewer than 30% of U.S. households were headed by minorities. In addition, the 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reported that the Asian American/Pacific Islander community is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.
We want to bring additional value to our customers by addressing these diverse markets with the training, products and services they need to promote sustainable homeownership. In fact, NAHREP Co-founder and CEO Gary Acosta has said that Radian’s training programs are some of the best and most relevant in the market and that the partnership has proven to be extremely valuable to NAHREP members.
HW: How can mortgage insurance be a game changer for underserved segments?
BM: Many people today simply can’t break into the housing market. For many, it is still a challenge to get approved for a mortgage. And there aren’t enough homes for sale to meet high consumer demand, especially when it comes to more affordable, lower-cost homes. Lastly, saving enough money for a large down payment continues to be the greatest hurdle to homeownership.
Many of these challenges continue to be especially acute for first-time homebuyers, including minorities. Private mortgage insurance, which helps low- to moderate-income borrowers purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment, is a financial tool that can allow deserving homebuyers to purchase a home sooner, with less money down.
HW: What benefits do your clients get by using the integrated resources of Radian and Clayton?
BM: It’s all about being a valuable business partner. Given our unique combination of companies, we have an opportunity to leverage our market-leading mortgage insurance franchise combined with our core capabilities across the Clayton family of companies. Our customers are seeking solutions across the entire mortgage value chain, from origination and loan fulfillment, to servicing and securitization. And while we’re talking to our customers about the mortgage insurance products and services they know and value, we have an opportunity to introduce our other services, including residential loan due diligence, valuations, servicing surveillance, title and escrow services. In one conversation, we can answer multiple needs.