This month we’re looking at news and developments on the homeownership front. Today – the stats around the Center’s work during 2018.

Each year, the Minnesota Homeownership Center interacts with thousands of households across the state. During 2018, this number was precisely 19,924 – a 14 percent increase over 2017. We recently published our 2018 Consumer Services Report, which compiles all of the data we collect and shows the need for, and impact of, the services we deliver. Here are the highlights:

  • For homebuyer services, which include homeownership education and advising as well as financial wellness advising, 30% of households served were in greater Minnesota while 70% were located in the metro area. This corresponds very closely with the state’s population patterns. When looking at foreclosure advising, however, the ratio is 46% vs. 54%. While demand for foreclosure advising has dropped dramatically since the Great Recession, it remains disproportionately higher in greater Minnesota.
  • For homebuyer services, first-time homebuyers accounted for 89% of households served. A full 25% of these households were also first-generation homebuyers.
  • The Minnesota Homeownership Center prides itself on working with low income families to achieve sustainable homeownership. This work includes both one-on-one homeownership as well as financial wellness advising. In 2018, 86% of households we worked with were at or below 80% of their respective Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Minnesota has one of the country’s highest homeownership gaps between white households and households of color. Because of this, the Minnesota Homeownership Center works hard to partner with other groups and organizations in order to focus awareness and outreach in communities of color. This strategy resulted in 63% of the households we served during 2018 being households of color.
  • When it comes to homebuyer education, many lenders and special loan programs require that borrowers complete a certified course like Home Stretch (in-person) or Framework (online). This education also is a great place to start the homeownership journey, and that’s a message the Center has been trying to promote for several years now. These efforts appear to be paying off, as 2018 was the first year that those participating voluntarily (54%) outnumbered those that were required to participate (42%).
  • On the foreclosure advising front, 2018 saw the first pre-foreclosure notice uptick in 8 years. As is typically the case, the primary reason for mortgage default remained a loss or reduction in income.
  • Of 1,327 households completing the foreclosure advising process during 2018, 977 of them, or 74%, successfully avoided foreclosure.