Washington, DC – (RealEstateRama) — NeighborWorks America, one of the country’s largest nonprofit community development corporations, announced today that it expects its network of nonprofits across the United States will help originate $3 billion of mortgages this year, up from approximately $2.9 billion and $2.8 billion in calendar years, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
The forecast comes with mortgage rates consistently hovering near historic lows, underwriting standards slowly opening the door to more qualified low- and moderate-income families, and NeighborWorks organizations expanding marketing and lending products, while increasing operational efficiency.
“NeighborWorks organizations provide consumers with a suite of services from pre- and post-purchase homebuyer education, down payment assistance, first mortgage lending products and other home-related services, including realty services,” said Marietta Rodriguez, vice president of homeownership programs and lending at NeighborWorks America. “These services help create sustainable homeownership for more than 20,000 families every year — or more than 50 families every single day!”
First-time homebuyers are the majority of the customers helped by NeighborWorks, and these homebuyers often benefit from down payment assistance, an important product that helps low-wealth consumers safely and securely achieve homeownership. NeighborWorks encourages more consumers to seek a nonprofit housing organization early in the homebuying process, a resource that many consumers overlook or believe isn’t for them. In fact, more than two-thirds of consumers say that they are unaware of or that there aren’t down payment assistance programs for middle-income families.
“NeighborWorks organizations are able to put thousands of people each year into homes and create billions of dollars in economic activity because we’re focused on finding mortgage solutions for every credit-worthy customer we see,” explained Rodriguez. “That includes everything from helping a homebuyer obtain a mortgage from a national lender, originating the mortgage loan themselves, or helping secure a low down payment mortgage through a state housing finance agency.”
The average home price for a NeighborWorks homeownership customer is approximately $150,000.
Surveys consistently show that consumers place a high value on homeownership. For example, the third annual America at Home survey from NeighborWorks America found that nearly nine out of ten consumers say that owning a home is an important part of their American dream. Importantly, 80 percent of adults under 30 — practically first-time homebuyers by definition — also say that homeownership is an important component of the American dream.
“Homeownership is within reach, even with student loan debt, little cash for a down payment or less than perfect credit,” said Rodriguez. “The home buying market is tough right now because of tight inventory, particularly for entry level homes, but is improving. One of the best ways to access homeownership for first time home buyers is to work with a housing counselor who knows their market ‘inside and out’, and can help a consumer navigate the complex process.”
About NeighborWorks America
For more than 35 years, NeighborWorks America, a national, nonpartisan nonprofit, has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $27.2 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.