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Lack of down payment and affordable housing are impediments for first-time homebuyers

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A group of mortgage industry executives said in a survey that saving for a sufficient down payment and a lack of affordable housing are the biggest hurdles for first-time homebuyers.


Genworth Mortgage Insurance, an operating segment of Richmond-based Genworth Financial Inc. released the results of a survey Thursday that included a focus on the first-time homebuyer market.
The survey of 200 mortgage industry professionals was conducted at this year's Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Convention and Expo in Denver, Color.


Forty-six percent of the respondents cited a lack of a down payment, while 35 percent pointed to a lack of affordable housing as challenges to home ownership. Additional responses included student debt (14 percent) and the ability to qualify for a mortgage (5 percent).


"Despite their emergence as today's fastest-growing, home-buying demographic, first-time homebuyers still face many headwinds. While some of these, such as shortages in affordable inventory, are environment-driven, others can be addressed via improved awareness on the various low down-payment solutions available in today's market," Rohit Gupta, president and CEO, Genworth Mortgage Insurance, said in a statement.


Respondents anticipate strong first-time homebuyer growth in 2018, with over half (57 percent) believing that the first-time homebuyer market will grow at a faster pace than the overall housing market in 2018. Thirty-one percent thought this group would continue to grow at the same rate as the overall housing market, while only 12 percent thought the population's growth would slow. 


Additional findings from the survey highlight the industry's perspectives on credit expansion.  For instance, respondents expect to see a higher mix of above 80 percent loan-to-value loans (45 percent) and a higher mix of borrowers with FICO credit scores of 700 and below (38 percent).




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