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Genworth Industry Survey: Lack of down payment and affordable housing inventory viewed as biggest impediments for first-time homebuyers


RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Genworth Mortgage Insurance, an operating segment of Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW), today released the results of its survey of 200 mortgage industry professionals conducted at this year's Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Convention and Expo in Denver, Colorado. The survey addressed several topics, including a focus on impediments to achieving homeownership for the first-time homebuyer market. The analysis shows a majority of industry executives believe that saving for a sufficient down payment (46 percent) and a lack of affordable housing inventory (35 percent) are the biggest hurdles. Additional responses included student debt (14 percent) and the ability to qualify for a mortgage (5 percent).

"Despite their emergence as today's fastest-growing homebuying demographic, first-time homebuyers still face many headwinds. While some of these, such as shortages in affordable inventory, are environment-driven, others can be addressed via improved awareness on the various low-down-payment solutions available in today's market," said Rohit Gupta, President and CEO, Genworth Mortgage Insurance. "Ensuring that the right tools from both a product and educational standpoint are in place is imperative to supporting the continued positive trajectory for these buyers."

Respondents still anticipate strong first-time homebuyer growth in 2018, with over half (57 percent) believing that the first-time homebuyer market will grow at a faster pace than the overall housing market in 2018. Thirty-one percent thought this group would continue to grow at the same rate as the overall housing market, while only 12 percent thought the population's growth would slow.  

Additional findings from the survey are included below and highlight the industry's perspectives on credit expansion and the strength of various loan offerings:

Industry expects demand for 97 LTV products to strengthen in 2018
When asked about expectations for the growth of 97 LTV products in 2018, nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) believe demand will increase for these products. An additional 35 percent of respondents thought that demand for these products would remain at their current levels, while two percent forecasted a decline in demand.

High LTV, low-FICO loans expected to surge in demand
Industry professionals were divided on what they viewed as the most likely source of credit expansion in 2018, with a higher mix of above-80 LTV loans (45 percent) and a higher mix of borrowers with below-700 FICO scores (38 percent) as the most heavily cited. Seventeen percent of respondents believed that a higher mix of borrowers with above-41 DTIs would be the most likely source of credit expansion.

Non-QM loan growth expected to remain stable or increase in 2018
Forty-nine percent of respondents believe there will be a strong appetite among lenders for originating non-QM loans in 2018, suggesting that the housing industry is on a strong upward trajectory. An additional 41 percent believe that the current appetite will be average, not expecting a significant change as the housing recovery has been steady. Nine percent of professionals thought that this demand would be weak, while only one percent thought the appetite was non-existent among lenders.

About Genworth Financial 
Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a Fortune 500 insurance holding company committed to helping families achieve the dream of homeownership and address the financial challenges of aging through its leadership positions in mortgage insurance and long term care insurance. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Genworth traces its roots back to 1871 and became a public company in 2004. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Genworth Mortgage Insurance

Jennifer Abraczinskas, Genworth Mortgage Insurance, 919 870.2195,

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