As the share of first-time homebuyers hovers at its lowest level in nearly three decades, real estate professionals remain optimistic that homeownership is due for a comeback. In a panel at the 2014 Realtors Conference and Expo, experts discussed the changing face of American homebuyers and the potential effects of these changes on the housing market. One of the biggest topics for the panel was the state of millennial homeownership.
While inventory shortages, tight credit access, and lower than average salaries have made for a bleak picture for young adults, the speakers largely agreed that these represent temporary setbacks as the economy makes its way to stable ground. Lisa Sturtevant, panelist and vice president of research for the National Housing Conference, argued that millennial demand for housing will grow as the economy improves, while Realtor-dot-com’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, noted that Generation Y already accounts for a large share of home shoppers that’s only expected to grow.
Two of the country's biggest banks have agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars to settle a suit claiming they failed to protect investors of mortgage-backed securities in the wake of the subprime crash. According to a motion filed late last week, Bank of America and US Bancorp agreed to pay $69 million to a number of state and local pension funds that lost millions from their investment in securities purchased from Washington Mutual before its collapse in 2008. In its suit, the investor group claimed BofA and US Bancorp knew the loans packaged in the securities were riskier than advertised. The group further said that Bank of America and US Bancorp failed in their role as trustees by not forcing WaMu to buy back the faulty mortgages after they went sour.