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Genworth reveals the biggest concerns for mortgage professionals in 2019

Interest rates and housing affordability top concerns

Genworth Mortgage Insurance surveyed approximately 203 mortgage professionals attending the recent Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual conference, in order to determine their biggest concerns facing the industry in 2019.

Here are the biggest hurdles that mortgage professionals cited.

Genworth's survey determined that 54% of respondents believed rising interest rates were the greatest obstacle, followed by 37% who cited the lack of affordable housing was concerning.  Only 7% of those surveyed said GSE reform was a concern for them in 2019 and 2% said they are concerned about the pending expiration of the Qualified Mortgage patch. 

When focusing specifically on the first-time homebuyer market, Genworth's survey shows that 58% of respondents said that lack of affordable housing was the most impactful obstacle for those wanting to enter the housing market.

Notably, 20% said the lack of homebuying education was worrying, while 13% and 9% thought interest rates and the lack of appropriate credit history were smaller hurdles, respectively.

Despite these concerns, a recent study from Bank of America revealed that 72% of Millennials considered homeownership as a top priority. 

“While rising interest rates and a lack of affordable housing supply continue to drive increase in home prices, first-time homebuyers have not wavered in their efforts to buy homes," Genworth Mortgage Insurance President and CEO Rohit Gupta said. "We continue to stress the importance of education and optionality for this demographic to set them up for success."

"Their growing presence in the purchase market will require continued support and customization as they continue to play a meaningful role and drive demand in the housing market," Gupta concluded. 

Genworth’s additional data indicates that 85% of industry executives claim customer service could be better improved with the utilization of technology in the loan application submission and closing process. Of those respondents, 15% identified either the loan inquiry process or private mortgage insurance as areas where technology could make a difference. 

Lastly, a whopping 62% of respondents said that they did not believe regulatory policy changes introduced over the next 12 to 24 months would be effective in supporting the construction of more affordable homes.

Moody’s Investor Service recently lowered its homebuilding outlook from positive to stable, signaling macro factors and order trends are expected to impact future growth.

"In recent months the number and strength of headwinds hindering growth have increased, particularly rising mortgage rates, declining affordability and ballooning new home inventories, along with slowing customer traffic and order rates," Moody's VP-Senior Credit Officer Joseph Snider said.

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