By David Lykken
Special to MPA
There has been a lot of talk lately about the threat this new generation poses to the mortgage industry. Every industry is talking about the "millennials" but perhaps none more so than our own. We're worried that the alarmist predictions about millenials are going to be true and that this new generation of potential home buyers isn't going to be as interested in home ownership as the generations before it. But, we aren't the only ones who should be worried; everyone should be concerned.
The mortgage industry does not exist in a vacuum. In fact, one of the key indicators economists look at when considering the state of the economy is the state of the housing market. Why is this the case? Well, one obvious reason is that a house is the most expensive thing most people will ever buy. But I think it goes deeper than that.
When you buy a home, you aren't just supporting the housing market; you are supporting a whole host of other industries. You need to furnish the home. You need appliances. You need electricity and plumbing. You need to take care of your yard. Oftentimes, buying a home will also mean raising children. That means more food, more clothing, more education, and so on. Home ownership is, in many ways, the gateway to other industries thriving.
The importance of our industry cannot be overstated. While I don't believe that the values of millenials are so different that they will stop by homes, the changing norms are certainly something we must pay attention to. In learning how to capture the interest of this new generation, we'll not only save our own industry; we'll likely save the entire economy.
David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking. David hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals.