If you feel like you’ve missed out on the discussion of the future of the industry that directly contributes to 15-18% of the US economy, you actually haven’t missed anything. Despite an onslaught of debates, commercials, speeches, press conferences and cable news programs - there has been next to no discussion of the housing market this political season.
It’s easy to see why. Mortgage default rates are at historically low levels, Fannie and Freddie have turned into massive cash registers for the Federal Government, rates are still very low, and it’s looking as if 2016 will be the biggest year for total mortgage originations in a decade.
Despite conditions that haven’t forced discussions about our industry to the forefront, housing has never faced a more crucial 2-3 year period.
The bottom line is this - most of the reforms to our industry these past eight years were needed. But like many market/corrections, things swung a little too far the other way. And while Obama’s housing legacy was forced to be focused on reform, the next President will have a chance to retool an industry that is so vital to the health of the US economy and the quality of lives of Americans.
The housing industry is at a crossroads. The home ownership rate is at a 50-year low. Limited inventory, lenders still unwilling to underwrite to the edge of the credit box, and looming Fed rate hikes have made home affordability a challenge. The technology is evolving at insanely quick levels in the mortgage manufacturing process. Market share is shifting rapidly away from depositories towards independent mortgage bankers. There’s still far too much gray in the regulatory climate, with lenders pining for black and white. And of course Fannie & Freddie. Never more needed for our industry, yet still under the government thumb. With no easy solutions to get them out of conservatorship.
TMC - Chief Operating Officer