Millennials willing to spend for fitness…and home buying

By Rob Chrane

We’re impressed by Goldman Sachs’s new animated infographic dedicated to the attitudes and interests of millennials. In just a few minutes, you can learn quite a bit about the largest generation in U.S. history.

  • 93 percent want to own a home in the future.
  • Marriage and family are being put off until later in life, but more than 70 percent want to have family one day.
  • While many major purchases, such as cars, aren’t as important to them, buying a home was considered extremely important or important by 70 percent.
millennial house

But what really got us thinking was how much millennials’ affinity for technology has changed their shopping behavior. Their knowledge and ease of use of web-based tools puts them ahead of other demographics for online price comparison and shopping. As price is a more important factor to them than for other generations, they are also seeking value.

millennial brands

Consider millennials’ focus on fitness and wellness. They use apps and online tools to find healthy foods and track fitness goals. They are familiar with finding everything they need to reach their fitness goals online. And, because it’s a key value, while consumption in other areas is declining, millennials are spending more on athletic apparel — a lot more. keep reading

87% of U.S. Homes Qualify for Down Payment Help

February 4, 2015

Down Payment Resource and RealtyTrac released a joint analysis on the availability of down payment programs across the country.

Media contact: Melinda Harris,

Read the full report on RealtyTrac’s website.

Key highlights:

  • Out of more than 78 million U.S. single family homes and condos, more than 68 million (87 percent) would qualify for a down payment program available in the county where they are located based on the maximum price requirements for those programs and the estimated value of the properties.
  • The average amount of down payment assistance across all counties is $11,565.
  • At least one down payment program is available in all 3,143 U.S. counties, and more than 2,000 counties have more than 10 down payment programs available to prospective homebuyers.
  • More than half of programs (54 percent) are Community Seconds, a second mortgage issued by an HFA or nonprofit organization with a very low or no interest rate. The payment on the second mortgage may be deferred or forgiven incrementally for each year the buyer remains in the home. In a typical scenario this could reduce the amount of cash needed to close from $20,000 to $200 (see infographic below).
  • Other major program types:
    • First mortgage loans with below-market interest rates or 100 percent financing.
keep reading

Are low down payments back?

Mortgage credit has remained tight since the housing crisis. The response was intended to ensure sound, well underwritten mortgages were provided to buyers, but an unintended consequence was that many buyers were locked out of home financing. Recently, Fannie and Freddie regulator FHFA said that they would take steps to expand credit for the purchase market, including backing loans with down payments of 3%, down from today’s 5%. And, federal agencies approved the final QRM, or qualified residential mortgage, rule that removes a once proposed requirement of a 20% down payment. Finally, individual mortgage lenders began announcing earlier this year that they were easing their loan requirements. (For a thoughtful commentary on the complexities of all these changes and what they mean to buyers, read this post in the WSJ Banking blog.)


As we await more details on the FHFA plan, the recent mortgage news has given fire to the old myth that low down payments are what caused the housing crisis.

Borrower beware?

The housing crisis was caused by mortgages with short term arms, no-documentation and other exotic features often not understood by the buyer. keep reading