We’re halfway through the second quarter of 2018. Mortgage delinquency rates continue to fall, driven by improved underwriting, higher employment and wages. Despite rising interest rates, the demand for purchase credit remains solid. The economy and housing market both look good as we head into, what should be, another robust summer home sales season.
While the market has some rosy characteristics, there are still signals for caution. The largest generation of potential homebuyers – Millennials – continue to face obstacles to making homeownership a reality. Stiff competition, burdensome student debt, overall affordability — not to mention a lack of decent homes to buy — continue to be notable hurdles for many, growing families. The most recent MBA Mortgage Finance Forecast has overall origination volume falling 5.7% in 2018, with the refinance share falling from 35% in 2017 to 27% in 2018. Clearly, it's a purchase market.
At HousingWire, our mission is Moving Markets Forward. To help our readers and clients continue to put buyers in homes, win market share and build successful businesses, we’re making some serious investments.
On the Editorial front, we see three major opportunities -- inform mortgage loan originators, expand multifamily housing awareness, and cover the expansion of private capital in the mortgage lending industry and relevant investment communities.
To build a community of better informed mortgage loan originators, HousingWire launched LendingLife in March. Edited by Editor-in-Chief, Jacob Gaffney, LendingLife is a rapidly growing community of Loan Officers who crave exclusive, expert commentary developed to help loan originators be better informed and more productive. We’re two months in, and are currently adding about 1,000 new subscribers every two weeks. Sent twice weekly, the newsletter is driving a ton of engagement and our readers are helping us identify important coverage opportunities. If you are an LO, please sign up today.
As we look at the overall housing economy, we expect multifamily housing to continue to play an increasingly important role. Leveraging our housing finance expertise, HousingWire is expanding into the multifamily housing finance market. Unlike others, our focus will cover the news and information that helps developers, investors and owners understand the competitive and dynamic commercial / multifamily financing ecosystem. Editor and HousingWire veteran, Ben Lane, will be leading the charge. Jeremiah Jensen also joined the team at the beginning in May to help build out HousingWire’s multifamily vertical.
To further strengthen our team and enable expanded coverage on mortgage loan originations and private capital, we also hired a new reporter, Alcynna Lloyd, to work closely with our other reporters and editors to provide our readers more multimedia options for experiencing news nowhere else.
Our expanding audience of lending, servicing, real estate, and financial technology professionals has created an outstanding opportunity for HousingWire to work with a growing base of clients on marketing and advertising initiatives. We’ve heavily invested in our audience intelligence and segmentation capabilities, branded content through our HW Content Solutions team, and launched HousingJobs.
We work hard to fulfill our mission of Moving Markets Forward. This not only includes supporting a more informed housing finance market, but helping our clients build their businesses through more impactful and efficient marketing solutions.
To better support our clients, we’re doubling the size of our sales and client service team in 2018. In February, Joe Priolo joined our team to support our clients in the Northeast and officially open HousingWire’s NYC office. Last week, we welcomed two additional team members. Lorena Leggett will be working with our clients in the Great Lakes region and is based in the Chicago area. Bill Brown will be working with our clients in the Mountain West region.
Investments in our team, publishing technology and marketing capabilities won’t stop here. We have some exciting projects underway that will further improve the quality of our user experience and digital advertising capabilities.
Finally, we would have never made it this far without our most treasured and valuable asset: you, our audience. From me personally: Thank you for your continued support and engagement.