Adam Constantine on MLK Jr.’s impact on housing equality

During the interview, Constantine explains why the industry needs to focus on evoking intentional change rather than launching lackluster initiatives.

Navigating capacity concerns amidst record-high volumes

High loan volumes continues to loom large in the new year, making the “one-stop-shop” approach to the servicing and lending process even more appealing.

How servicers continue to protect neighborhoods amid COVID

We spoke with MCS CEO Caroline Reaves about self-service technology, the shift to virtual and how servicers can prepare for post-COVID success by improving processes today.

How student loan debt impact homeownership

Student loan expert Catalina Kaiyoorawongs shares her practical and tangible advice for people who feel overwhelmed by their student loan debt.

Real Estate

The good, the bad, and the likely for housing in 2021

Hopes are high for a stronger 2021

HW+ house roof

Despite the pandemic, incredibly, the housing market has surpassed all expectations in 2020. Applications to purchase a home hit a low point in the spring due to stay-at-home orders and mandated business closures, but have rebounded swiftly.

As of the week ending December 4, purchase loan applications have exceeded year-ago levels for 29-straight weeks, and cumulative purchase applications have surpassed 2019 levels. The pace of existing- and new-home sales mirrors the strength in purchase loan applications. New- and existing-home sales are at a post-Great Recession high. While the speed and magnitude of the housing recovery was surprising, the strong underlying fundamentals serving as tailwinds for the housing market’s recovery were not, and these tailwinds are expected to remain strong in 2021.

2021 housing market tailwinds: Rates, demographics and supply

Low Mortgage Rates: According to our Potential Home Sales Model, the increase in house-buying power driven by historically low mortgage rates was a significant driver of the housing rebound from April through October. In 2021, consensus forecasts estimate the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate will likely be 3% – with forecasts ranging from 2.8% to 3.3%. Low mortgage rates will boost house-buying power and keep purchase demand robust.

Pent-Up Demographics: Millennials are the largest and most educated generational group in history – approximately 72 million strong in 2019. The bulk of this generation turned 30 this year and are beginning to enter their prime home-buying years. More than half of all the purchase mortgages originated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went to first-time home buyers in data available for 2020, and this trend shows no signs of abating in 2021.

Our analysis shows that Millennials may account for at least 15 million home sales in the next 10 years. This is a conservative estimate that does not take into consideration the higher educational attainment and household income of this generation relative to their predecessors. Adding fuel to the housing demand fire is the increase in the personal savings rate, which climbed to an all-time high in April and remains above the historical average as pandemic-driven restrictions are limiting discretionary spending.

For young people that are still employed, increased savings can be used as a down payment, which is typically the biggest hurdle for first-time home buyers. In 2021, older Millennials will continue to form households, recession or not, which will put upward pressure on demand for homeownership.

Millennial demand
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