Wells Fargo Plays Key Role in Advancing Homeownership

The dream of owning a home shines bright today. For 70% of Americans, it’s a key symbol of success, as good as having a career. That’s one of many insights revealed in the Wells Fargo 2019 “How America Views Homeownership” survey.1.  The survey offers convincing proof of the importance of homeownership in the USA, and the value Americans overwhelmingly place on owning their own homes.

“Even after all we’ve experienced in the housing market over the last decade, the idea of homeownership continues to be the marker of success and very much a goal of many Americans,” says Shannon M Gaunt, Wells Fargo Home Lending Consultant. “That commitment is just as strong in Millennials. In fact, they are even more willing to make financial trade-offs in order to be able to buy a home.”

The findings are encouraging yet there is still work to be done to clear the path to home ownership. Down payment remains a major hurdle. Housing affordability is a pervasive issue in our country. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, nearly one-third of U.S. households spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and 18 million commit more than 50% for a safe place to live. “Housing affordability” comprises a spectrum, from homelessness to rental housing to homeownership, and addressing it will require a spectrum of solutions.

It is equally critical that local counties and cities continue partnering with financial institutions to provide homebuyer programs and down payment assistance programs to help stimulate entry-level homeownership and create affordability. We can show up in communities to make sure people know about the options and assistance that may be available to help them buy a home. We can also build relationships with individuals and help them understand what it takes to qualify. Education and tangible programs are the key for homebuyers at all levels.

As mortgage lenders, we continue to have a critical role to play in helping Americans on the path to sustainable homeownership.

1 The “How America Views Homeownership” survey was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Wells Fargo between April 17 and April 29, 2019 among 1,004 adults 21 and older in the United States.