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DS News January 2021

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 14 of 99

13 Journal THE AMERICAN DREAM OF HOME- OWNERSHIP IS 'VERY MUCH ALIVE' Sarah Paynter, a real estate reporter at Yahoo Finance, e Real Deal, and Newsday, moder- ated a homeownership demographics-focused panel at the NAR Real Estate Forecast Summit: Post-Election Outlook. Guests on the panel included Rodney Har- rell, VP of Family, Home, and Community at AARP; Jessica Lautz, VP of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at NAR; and Richard Fry, Senior Researcher at Pew Research Center. e panel dug into the data behind home- owning trends for first-time buyers, multigen- erational dwellers, millennials, baby boomers, various ethnic subsets, and more during a global health crisis. "e coronavirus is impacting all kinds of decisions for people, across age ranges as this pandemic is making us understand our housing needs in new and different ways," Fry said. "We need to reconsider what that new normal is going to be—what that new world is. It's only natural that that would have some impact on purchases." e panel began by discussing how the pandemic is influencing the home-purchasing behavior of millennials and first-time buyers. One of the main things about the demo- graphic in question, Lautz says, is that parents' financial contributions to their children's home- buying efforts have "shrunk considerably," which could be negatively impacting the millennial generation's ability to purchase real estate. "When we look at the data from last year, what we see is about a third of first-time homebuyers actually received down payment assistance, and this year it shrunk to a quarter, so we think that there could be some family mem- bers who aren't able to contribute that transfer of wealth," she said. "With home prices rising so steeply, and low inventory, without that assis- tance ... not to mention student debt, they have a lot of hurdles, and without that extra push from mom and dad, it's really hard to enter." e moderator said that as a huge generation ages into prime homebuying years, there still is a relatively young population of baby boomers who own a lot of the residential real estate in this country, which could impact competition, prices, and availability in the coming years. Harrell said that when discussing compe- tition, it is important to also focus on types of housing needs. "We like to talk about livable communities, places that are close to transit, shopping, and the resources that folks need. Not to mention, if you're thinking about aging you might need a home that has features that support people of any age. en the supply gets even smaller," he said. He says the data collected by AARP show that millennials and boomers want the same things in a home. "But what's different are the barriers that face different people in different groups." e panel went on to address the aging population and multigenerational housing, the experts noted that there is an essentially even split between aging adults who are moving into a family home and young adults returning home. "I think there's a there's a lot of motivations for families [to live together] but certainly I don't know if the housing stock is going to be able to support that," Lautz said. Another topic the panel touched on was the gap between Black and white homeownership. Lautz says NAR data has shown that the Black and white homeownership gap is a wide as it was when the Fair Housing Act start- ed collecting the data in the 1990s, 73% for white Americans to 42% for Black Americans. (Hispanic and Asian homebuying has increased during the pandemic, panelists pointed out.) "You know, part of the reason why we should focus on these gaps is that it's also tied to the wealth gap that exists between the different racial groups. Homeownership is one of the great wealth-building parts of our country," Harrell said. "So, there are certain groups that are missing out. One of my concerns about this post-coronavirus period is that we're looking at a wave of foreclosures and evictions that will hurt African American and Latino communities." e younger generation is more diverse, Lautz says, therefore she is optimistic about in- creasing diversity among first-time homebuyers. "I do believe that the American Dream of homeownership is very strong," she said. "It's very much alive from all of the survey data that I've seen. If you're not a homeowner, you want to be one in the future, whether that's a short-term or a long-term goal. So, I think that's encourag- ing among all races."

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