New data from RealtyTrac revealed that there are almost nine out of ten homes in the U.S. that are qualified for some form of down payment assistance.
RealtyTrac’s analytics were done with assistance from Down Payment Resource, and in there, a total of 2,290 down payment programs from the latter company’s Homeownership Program Index were analyzed. According to the findings, there are 68 million out of over 78 million single family homes and condominiums in the United States that qualify for down payment help in the county where they are located. That translates to 87 percent of U.S. homes and condos that qualify for assistance based on maximum price requirements and the properties’ estimated value.
“Many homebuyers, especially Millennials, haven’t fully investigated their home financing options because they are pessimistic about qualifying for a mortgage,” said Down Payment Resource president and Chief Executive Robert Chrane. “Our Homeownership Program Index highlights the wide range and availability of down payment programs available to today’s homebuyers. In fact, 91 percent of the 2,290 programs in our registry have funds available to lend to eligible buyers. Plus, income limits vary depending on the market and programs extend beyond just first-time homebuyers.”
In his own statement on the analytics, RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist elucidated on the interesting dilemma many consumers face, even if recent rule changes from government-sponsored entities Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have reduced the minimum down payment from 5 percent to 3 percent.
According to Blomquist, the barrier to achieving the dream of homeownership is often “much lower” than 3 percent for those who take advantage of down payment assistance programs in their areas. “Prospective buyers — or their agents — willing to put in a few minutes of time to find out what programs are available to them will put themselves in a much better position to successfully purchase a home,” he said.
Among the ten counties with the most total homes qualified for assistance, Wayne County (Michigan) had the highest percentage of homes qualified for down payment assistance at 94.37 percent. Dallas County and Harris County (both in Texas) were next, with close to 93 percent of all homes qualified for assistance. Rounding out the top four was Clark County (Nevada), which had over 92 percent of homes qualified for down payment help.
Los Angeles County (California) had the lowest share at 78 percent qualified, while Miami-Dade and Broward (Florida) had the second- and third-lowest share of qualified homes in the top ten list with 82 percent and 83 percent respectively.
Commenting on these findings, First Team Real Estate Chief Operating Officer Mark Hughes said that generations that grew into adulthood after the recession are “typically more frugal,” with home buyers these days having lower backend debt-to-income ratios, and more purchasing power compared to the previous generation. Still, these consumers usually do not have enough money to make down payments. “More than half the interested buyers in our agents’ pipelines are more concerned with pulling together today’s required down payment than meeting the income-to-debt ratio requirements,” he continued.