Duncan: $1.1 trillion in mortgages this year

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Fannie Mae's Doug Duncan, at Wednesday's Annual Conference general session, discussed housing trends, monetary policy, interest rates and factors that shape homeownership decisions of young consumers. (Dietsch photo)

July 24, 2014 – This year will see about $1.1 trillion in mortgage loans nationwide this year, the bulk of them being first mortgages, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Doug Duncan told NAFCU’s Annual Conference attendees Wednesday.

Duncan said young renters have views about homeownership similar to previous generations, but they can be more conservative in their assessments about when to buy a home. If they have a mountain of student loan debt, they’re less likely to think about homeownership now than individuals who owe less are apt to do.

Indeed, those debt-burdened consumers are more likely than others to cite down payment and existing debt as their biggest barriers to obtaining a mortgage. They are also driven by considerations about how they will maintain that mortgage once they get it, he said.

Even so, he said, the vast majority of young renters – 90 percent, based on 2013 fourth-quarter data – see themselves buying a home one day. And just 7 percent expect they never will.

Noting the debt burden on current homeowners affected by the financial crisis, Duncan said about 0.75 million to 1 million households remain eligible for help through the Home Affordable Refinance Program and that Fannie Mae is continuing efforts to reach out to them and get them into the program.

 

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