This blog is the first in a series that will look at the results of a comprehensive study of the housing and mortgage market in
* Ownership of household chores. More than 7 out of 10 respondents believe that owning a home is important for stability and financial security. However, if we delve deeper into other key findings, economic issues and access gaps create problems when buying a home.
* Lack of affordable housing and housing shortage are among the main problems when buying a home. In fact, nearly 7 in 10 respondents cited the lack of affordable housing as the number one housing problem, while nearly 6 in 10 said housing shortage was another major problem. This is contextualized by the current historically low housing supply, which is most acute in the “new home” segment of the market.
* Household insecurity during the pandemic was also a major concern for Americans, especially among minorities. Sixty-six percent of all respondents cited housing insecurity, including concerns about making mortgage and rent payments, as their second biggest housing problem. Further examination of the survey results highlights that these economic problems are particularly acute among minorities. African Americans and Hispanics said that the delay in paying rent or mortgages was their number one problem. Twice as much
* Inability to save on the down payment and poor credit history are also among the biggest problems when buying a home.
* Socioeconomic differences such as lower income, lack of wealth between generations, limited savings, and the percentage of monthly income earmarked for housing costs only exacerbate home buying problems. These factors can lead to lower credit ratings and an increase in overall debt burden that needs to be controlled, which can contribute to more serious problems on the path to home ownership.
* Many Americans still don’t realize that low down payment mortgages are widely available. Up to 45 percent of all respondents mistakenly believe that a down payment of 20 percent or more is required to obtain a mortgage loan. Thirty percent of all adults surveyed indicated that they were not familiar with the down payment requirements. In truth, home buyers can qualify for a down payment of 3 percent on private mortgage insurance and as little as 3.5 percent on a loan secured by the loan.
* While initial payments are still a major concern, mortgage insurance (MI) is seen as an equalizing field and respondents strongly support access to MI mortgages in both traditional and government-backed markets. Seventy-three percent of all respondents view mortgage insurance as a necessity and have a positive effect on access to home ownership. MI provides access to housing finance for those who would otherwise be unable to purchase a home due to limited down payment funds. About 70 percent of respondents indicated that it is important to have access to loans in the traditional market supported by private financial institutions and government-supported loans through the FHA.
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