Developing a lending strategy for rising mortgage rates

As we enter the second quarter of 2021, it’s time for the mortgage industry to reflect on the past 12 months and think about how to plan for the same period ahead. After all, it was mid-March of last year that the president declared a national emergency leading to school closures, the wearing of masks, and the emptying of office buildings across the country. A little over a year ago, we could have never imagined the actual implications of COVID’s impact to come on this nation, our communities, families and our business.

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Take working remotely for example. In early 2020, Zoom was barely a known company in America. The impact of COVID made it a household name. By October, the market value of Zoom exceeded that of Exxon-Mobile, reflecting the dichotomy of an intransigent society staying at home and working remote. The stock value of Zoom grew 650% during this one year as many other aspects of the economy slowed or shuttered as a result of the shutdown.

But housing was the true bright spot in the economy. Low mortgage rates, driven by quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve helped fuel a boom in both mortgage refinancing and purchases, making 2020 the second-best year in U.S. history for mortgage origination volume. Augmenting the low rates was an increase in demand driven by the sudden surge of the millennials, finally now out to buy a home. 

In fact, as reported in the Wall Street Journal in late August of 2020, “Mil­len­ni­als reached a housing mile­stone in 2020 when the group first ac­counted for more than half of all new home loans, and they consistently held above that level in the first months of 2021, the most re­cent pe­riod for which data are avail­able, ac­cord­ing to Re­al­tor.com. The gen­er­a­tion made up 38% of home buy­ers in the year that ended July 2019, up from 32% in 2015, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­al­tors.

Source: Housing Wire