Despite recent data that younger generations are beginning to buy houses, on the whole, those same generations are waiting far longer than their parents did to buy their first house.

There are various reasons for that delay, including a dramatic increase in student loan debt and a general shifting of attitudes towards the traditional homebuyer cycle. Put simply, people are waiting longer to marry, have kids, and buy houses.

But just how much longer are people waiting to a buy house than they used to? Quite a long time, as it turns out.

As more members of the younger generation are postponing homeownership and homes are becoming multi-generational, the median age of U.S. homebuyers is now 47.

That figure has gone up eight years in just the last decade.

According to Realtor.com, the median age has increased by eight years since the financial crisis. But the trend goes back further than that.

A new report from Deutsche Bank Research shows that the median age of homebuyers in 1981 was 31. Since then, it’s gone up 16 years and now sits at 47.

(Image courtesy of Realtor.com. Click to enlarge.)

In metros and cities that attract young homebuyers the most, prices of homes have skyrocketed, and inventory has also gone down in record numbers this year.

Now, Generation Z seems to be the next wave of homebuyers, but there aren’t enough homes for them to buy, even if they’re ready and willing.

That’s thanks to Baby Boomers who are aging in place, leaving fewer homes on the market.

But according to TransUnion, at least 8.3 million first-time home buyers will enter the mortgage market between 2020 and 2022, due to low unemployment, record-low mortgage rates and rising wages.

In the wake of the affordability crisis, the average annual income of homebuyers has also increased to over $93,000, well above the national median income of $61,937.

Realtor.com suggests that younger adults struggle with student debt, making it harder to take out a mortgage.

Citing the National Association of Realtors, 83% of non-honmeowners said they think having student debt has delayed the ability to buy a home.



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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced Thursday the appointment of Anthony Renzi as the new CEO of Common Securitization Solutions, the joint venture between the two companies that developed and implemented the single security.

In this new role, Renzi will assume responsibility for the platform that supports the administration of the new Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security and define CSS’s future role in housing finance.

The new role became effective as of Dec. 2, 2019. Renzi succeeds David Applegate, who announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down as CSS CEO by year-end.

The initiative for a single securitization infrastructure between the two entities has been around for quite some time.

In 2013, the companies established CSS to design and implement the single GSE bond through the Common Securitization Platform. Applegate was appointed CEO at the jointly owned company’s launch. But in June, Fannie and Freddie announced that Applegate would be stepping down. 

“CSS has been a remarkable success story. It now administers, on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, nearly 1 million securities, backed by loans with $4.8 trillion in unpaid principal balance,” said Jerry Weiss, Freddie Mac executive vice president and chairman of the CSS Board of Managers. “The appointment of Tony Renzi signals our commitment to a seamless transition in leadership that will pave the way for continued progress at CSS.”

The appointment of Renzi is the result of a nationwide search for qualified candidates to lead the joint venture, which has been instrumental in building and running the technology platform that supports the new Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security, the companies said.

“We are fortunate to have found an individual with deep industry experience in leading large, complex organizations,” said David Benson, Fannie Mae president and CSS board member. “We’re delighted to welcome Tony to the CSS organization and look forward to working with him to strengthen and grow the services provided by CSS.”

Previously, Renzi was the CEO of Walter Investment Management Corp., which later changed its name to Ditech Holding Corp. Renzi later became the president and chief operating officer of Cenlar FSB, one of the nation’s largest mortgage subservicers.

Walter Investment (now Ditech) announced that Renzi would be stepping down as the nonbank’s CEO just as the company was set to emerge from bankruptcy. Renzi took over at Walter in September 2016, becoming the company’s fourth CEO in just under a year.

Renzi came to Walter from Citigroup, where he served as the chief operating officer, managing director and head of operations for Citi’s North America retail bank, commercial bank and CitiMortgage.

Earlier in his career, Renzi was executive vice president of the single-family business, operations and technology at Freddie Mac, chief operating officer of GMAC Residential Capital and served as president of GMAC Mortgage from 2001 to 2010.

“I’m excited to be with an organization that enabled the launch of the UMBS,” Renzi said. “We have the opportunity to continue to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and further define the future of CSS and how it will support the housing finance industry.”



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Tech-enabled renovation company Curbio has been busy this year.

The company announced this week it is expanding to Boston, adding to its already lengthy list of metros it serves.

In October, the company promised it would expand into Boston as well as Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Charlotte within the following months.

Curbio already serves Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix and the Florida metro areas of Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

The company refers to itself as a renovation partner in the remodeling mix. By using software to essentially flip a house, Curbio ensures the renovation process is quick and cost-effective. Clients don’t have to pay the service until the sale on their house closes.

Curbio provides project management, material selection and renovation choices designed to maximize profits for the seller. The company also keeps homeowners informed throughout the process with updates, photos and videos.

Curbio claims they can help customers complete housing projects 60% faster.

Earlier this year, Curbio raised $7 million in funding and partnered with Door.com, both to fuel its expansion. Door.com is similar to Curbio in the sense that customers have 24/7 access to their online portal to view listing performance, buyer feedback, their agent’s analysis and offer details on the website.



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Mortgage Tech Rundown looks at the latest news in mortgage technology, featuring new product updates, integrations and announcements.

Tech-enabled home insurance provider Openly launched on Tuesday, equipped with $7.6 million from its seed round of funding. The company said in a press release it aims to simplify the home insurance buying process by empowering home insurance agents.

In order to do so, Openly plans to sell its up-market home insurance exclusively through independent insurance agents, rather than using technology to completely remove them from the process.

“Our goal is to help agents as they work to modernize their businesses,” said Ty Harris, the CEO, and co-founder of Openly. “We let them offer their customers better, faster and more economical products with comprehensive insurance protection for a wide range of needs.”

roOomy, a technology company that offers virtual staging services and 3D modeling and rendering for interior design, announced a partnership with home furnishing company Havertys to enhance the home selling and buying process.

Through the partnership, Havertys has launched the Designer Application, which is a custom interior design tool that enables its design consultants to transform 2D images of their customers’ rooms to assist in creating photorealistic 3D renderings.

“Often, the problem with redesigning any room is visualization – it’s difficult to picture how the room might look like with new furnishings or to imagine how it will all fit together,” roOmy said in a press release. “But that’s a thing of the past – with Havertys latest offering consumers will be able to visualize the entire room like never before.”

Wolters Kluwer, a Netherlands based information and financial services company, launched a new consumer lending offering that aims to enhance the online loan origination capabilities of U.S. community banks and credit unions.

The offering, Online Applications for Consumer Lending, is powered by Temenos Infinity, the digital front office product from banking software provider Temenos.

By integrating seamlessly with Wolters Kluwer’s ComplianceOne solution, the offering allows consumers to begin a loan application from any digital device, at any time.

“Until now, community banks and credit unions had few options available for providing online consumer loan applications, other than to build their own in-house functionality,” said Steven Meirink, the executive vice president of Wolters Kluwer Compliance Solutions. “Online Applications for Consumer Lending helps level the playing field with larger institutions and internet-only banks, delivering an appealing consumer design and high-tech experience without a heavy technology investment.”



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In August, loanDepot’s chief technology officer Dominick Marchetti announced that he was leaving to join Guaranteed Rate. Four months later, the empty role has been filled, as loanDepot announced the hire of Sudhir Nair as chief information and technology officer.

In this new role, Nair and will be based at the company’s mello Innovation Lab, and will report to Sr. EVP, Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Walsh.

“Sudhir Nair brings an excellent balance of business-centric IT leadership and emerging technology solutions acumen,” Walsh said. “His capacity for identifying growth opportunities that provide exceptional ROI are well known within the industry, and we are delighted that he will be joining us as we enter our second decade of business.”

Nair brings over 20 years of experience to the role. Prior to joining loanDepot, he served as executive vice president and chief information officer at LoanCare. He has also served in the role of chief information officer for Academic Partnerships and NationStar. Before those positions, Nair spent 10 years in high-level positions at Bank of America.

“Sudhir Nair will be instrumental in helping us to design and implement enhancements that will enable us to continue to transform the mortgage experience,” said COO Tammy Richards. “We challenged the industry with our mello smartloan, and, with Sudhir’s leadership, we will continue to create technologies that will delight our customers and improve the mortgage experience.”

According to its announcement, loanDepot is looking to Nair with “continuing loanDepot’s dominance as a fintech leader in the mortgage sector.”

“Sudhir Nair is joining us at an ideal time,” said CEO and Founder Anthony Hsieh. “During our first decade, we established ourselves as an industry innovator, unafraid to make an investment in the technologies that we knew would transform the industry. As we enter our second decade, we plan to continue in that vein, but in a boldly customer-centric manner—and it is in this arena that Sudhir excels.”



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Haus, a co-investment platform for homeownership, announced this week that it is bringing on two industry veterans to fill top positions within the growing company. 

The company aims to make homeownership more affordable by co-investing in properties with homebuyers. In exchange for shared equity, the homebuyer can get up to 30% lower monthly payments than an average traditional mortgage, according to the company.

The startup was founded by Uber Co-Founder Garrett Camp and hired Jonathan McNulty as its chief executive officer only last fall.

Now, Haus continues to grow, as it welcomed Ralph McLaughlin as chief economist and Kevin Nerney as vice president of operations.

“Ralph and Kevin will be critically important in guiding Haus’ growth and our continued investment in both homes and people,” McNulty said. “Kevin’s expertise will help us build our team and product strategically while ensuring we are always maintaining a great consumer experience, and Ralph’s deep industry knowledge will ensure that our company and customers are buying the right homes at the right prices, in the right markets.”

McLaughlin previously worked at CoreLogic, where he held the position of deputy chief economist. Before that, he served as chief economist for Trulia. McLaughlin is widely recognized as an expert in the housing and mortgage industries.

In his new role, McLaughlin will be responsible for “applied research in the real estate and housing spaces that provides market insights and forward-thinking crucial to Haus’ customers and investors,” according to the company.  

Nerney joins Haus from Unison where he served as the general manager and head of product. In that role, he was responsible for commercial success and end-to-end customer experience of Unison.

He also oversaw various operations and corporate programs with LendingHome and ServiceSource International. As vice president of operations for Haus, Nerney will be tasked with streamlining internal and external processes to make Haus more “scalable.” 

Haus is currently available in select cities in California, Oregon and Washington. 



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Figure Technologies, the blockchain lending startup co-founded by former SoFi CEO Mike Cagney, is in full growth mode. Earlier this year, the company raised $65 million in its Series B equity funding.

And the company is seeking more funding to support that growth. According to a report from TechCrunch, Figure is planning to raise more than $100 million in a new round of equity funding.

The report, citing a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, states that Figure is trying to raise at least $103 million in new equity funding. The filing also states that Figure has already raised more than $58 million and plans to try to raise at least $44 million more.

Neither the TechCrunch article nor the SEC filing identify
the sources of Figure’s new funding.

The company’s Series B funding was led by RPM
Ventures
 and partners at DST Global, with participation
from investors Ribbit CapitalDCMDCGNimble
Ventures
Morgan Creek, and others.

That round of funding pushed the company’s total funding to
more than $120 million in just its second year of operating.

Cagney helped found Figure in 2018 after leaving SoFi in 2017 after reports emerged about the alleged toxic culture at the online lender.

Under Cagney’s leadership, SoFi was the apple of investors’ eyes, including raising $500 million in its Series F financing led by Silver Lake and raising $1 billion, led by SoftBank.

But the luster left SoFi quickly after allegations of how SoFi actually operated came to light, including claims that the company fired a former employee for reporting sexual harassment allegations to his superiors.

Cagney resigned shortly thereafter, moving on to Figure, which provides home equity lending via blockchain.

The company entered the home equity lending market first, when it rolled out its signature product, Figure Home Equity, which is a hybrid between a traditional home equity loan and a HELOC that allows homeowners to borrow from their home equity.

Then the company expanded into a different form of equity, unveiling a new program that it called an alternative to reverse mortgages. The program, called Figure Home Advantage, sees the company buy a property outright from a homeowner, who then rents the house back from Figure for as long as they want to.

The company has found success thus far, securing interest
from investors of different types.

Earlier this year, the company closed on an asset-based financing facility on blockchain of up to $1 billion alongside Jefferies and WSFS Institutional Services.

The facility is located on Provenance.io, a blockchain platform developed by Figure last year that is used to originate, finance and sell HELOCs to banks, asset managers and credit funds.

“With the financing facility now in
place, Provenance.io can support the entire end-to-end financing of
loans, from origination to funding to servicing to financing,” Cagney said
earlier this year. “It paves the way for the first securitization on chain,
which will demonstrate the massive cost savings, risk reduction and liquidity
benefits blockchain delivers.”

And with potentially $103 million more in equity funding on
its way into Figure coffers, the company will continue in that mission.



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The U.S. economy grew at a 2.1% annualized pace in the third quarter, picking up speed from the second quarter’s 2% rate and surprising economists, who expected the Commerce Department’s second estimate to be unchanged at 1.9% on Wednesday.

The upward revision was based on stronger readings for private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and personal consumption expenditure, the Commerce Department said.

While growth has slowed from the blistering 3.1% pace recorded in 2019’s first quarter, fears of a recession are abating as low mortgage rates drive a rebound in the mortgage and housing markets. Refinancings are at a three-year high, and much of the savings borrowers get by lowering their rates get plowed into GDP in the form of spending.

While spending is being supported by an unemployment rate near 50-year lows, a slowdown in the pace of job creation along with sagging consumer confidence and stagnant wage growth are causing some economists to question how long that can continue.

Consumer spending, which accounts for almost three-fourths of the U.S. economy, was unrevised at a 2.9% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the Commerce Department said.

Federal Reserve officials voted to cut the central bank’s benchmark rate at each of their last three meetings to stimulate a slowing economy. Chairman Jerome Powell said the official outlook on the economy was positive and said the policymakers planned to keep rates steady, barring a significant development.

The Fed next meets in two weeks in Washington, D.C., for their last gathering of the year. There was nothing in the latest GDP report that would spur a change in the Fed’s outlook, using the gauge Powell described last month.

“We’re going to be watching all factors and if developments emerge that cause a material reassessment with that outlook, we would respond accordingly, but that’s what it would take: a material reassessment of our outlook,” Powell said on Oct. 30.



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The founder and CEO of a New York investment firm will spend
more than four years in prison after being convicted of lying about the value
of hedge funds that included residential mortgage-backed securities.

The Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced this week that Anilesh Ahuja, the founder, chief executive officer, and chief investment officer of Premium Point Investments, was sentenced to 50 months in prison after being convicted of engaging in a securities mismarking scheme.

According to the Attorney’s Office, Ahuja and Jeremy Shor, a former trader at Premium Point who focused on non-agency RMBS, participated in a scheme to overinflate the net asset of the value of firm-managed hedge funds by more than $100 million between 2014 and 2016.

Court documents show that Ahuja co-founded PPI in 2008. The
company managed hedge funds that primarily focused on structured credit
products, including residential mortgage-backed securities.

One of PPI funds, launched in 2013, focused on purchasing
and securitizing pools of mortgages that were not issued or guaranteed by a
government agency.

According to court documents, from at least 2014 through
2016, Ahuja and Shor participated in a scheme to defraud PPI’s investors and
potential investors in the company’s various funds by “deceptively mismarking
each month the value of certain securities held in these funds, and thus
fraudulently inflating the (net asset value) of those funds as reported to investors
and potential investors.”

In order to accomplish this, PPI “fraudulently obtained
inflated quotes, including from corrupt brokers, and manipulated its valuation
process to inflate the purported value of securities held by the funds,” the
U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.   

These actions allowed PPI to materially overstate the
reported net asset value of the funds by more than $100 million, which
benefited the firm in two ways.

First, the firm was able to charge its investors higher
management and performance fees. Second, the firm was able to delay investors who
would have requested their money back had they known about the funds’ true
performance and operating health.

According to court documents, the scheme was conducted as a
result of Ahuja demanding that the firm maintain its image of success and “keep
pace” with the performance of other similar funds, despite market conditions
and the actual performance of the funds.

As a result of the scheme, Ahuja was sentenced to 50 months
in prison, while Shor received a sentence of 40 months. Both Ahuja and Shor
will also be required to serve three years of supervised release upon the
termination of their prison sentence.

“Anilesh Ahuja, founder of Premium Point Investments, was
convicted of participating in a scheme to mismark securities and thereby
mislead investors as to the true value of the funds that Premium Point managed,”
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a release.

“Ahuja conspired with others in his company and corrupt
brokers to fraudulently inflate the value of the assets under their management,
which in turn allowed them charge higher fees and avoid redemptions by
investors who otherwise would have pulled their money from Premium Point,”
Strauss continued. “The substantial prison term imposed on Ahuja appropriately
holds him accountable for his criminal acts.”



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Sales of new homes fell in October to an annualized rate of 733,000, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, but it still looks like 2019 is going to a vast improvement over 2018.

According to the Census data, the October pace fell slightly off September’s pace, which was upwardly revised from 701,000 to 738,000.

But given that September’s rate was adjusted up as much as it was, October’s pace looks strong, especially when considering that October’s total was 31.6% higher than October 2018, when it was 557,000.

“Aside from one disappointing month in the spring, 2019 has been a resurgent year for new home sales, and this stronger-than-expected October data – on the heels of strongly upwardly revised September data – only reinforces the trend and proves that high builder confidence is not entirely unwarranted,” Zillow Economist Matthew Speakman said.

According to analysis by the National Association of Home Builders, new home sales for 2019 are 9.6% higher so far this year than during the same period in 2018.

Beyond that, the past two months represent the highest monthly sales rate since October 2007. 

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale by the end of October was 322,000. This represents a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate, holding steady from the previous month.

The median sales price of new homes was $316,700, while the average sale price was $383,300.

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that these sales represent a solid demand for housing.

“This huge jump from one year ago partly reflects builders now building less expensive homes. Several of today’s fresh data on home price and new home sales, combined with earlier data on existing-home sales and the median home price, essentially say the same thing: housing demand is solid,” Yun said. “But buyers are facing not enough choices. Therefore, prices are getting bid up, especially in the starter home market and in the Mountain States.”

The latest Housing Market Index, which gauges homebuilder market sentiment, indicates that homebuilder confidence rose to 70 points in October, just three points more than in September.

NerdWallet Home and Mortgage Specialist, Holden Lewis, said that builders are now making homes that the consumer can afford.

“Excluding September, this is the strongest pace of new home sales since July 2007, before the housing crash,” Lewis said. “With a boost from low interest rates, builders are succeeding in making new homes that people can afford.”



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