ROCKY HILL, Conn., (November 17, 2014) — A new survey about housing attitudes conducted for the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) shows 80 percent of Connecticut renters were interested in buying their first home. This is a 15% increase over 2013, when 64 percent of renters indicated they were interested in buying a home.
First-time homebuyer mortgages increasing by 35 percent at CHFA
“It is very good news for the state’s economy that so many renters are interested in homeownership.
We are seeing this interest reflected in the increase in CHFA’s mortgage programs, which are up nearly 35 percent in 2014,” said Eric Chatman, President and Executive Director of CHFA. CHFA’s mortgage programs are targeted to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. “First-time buyers are the engine that drives the housing market. When CHFA helps renters become homeowners, there’s a chain reaction as existing homeowners also move up to their next home,” he added.
According to the survey, conducted by the Center for Research & Public Policy (CRPP) for CHFA, respondents believed the advantages of homeownership included the ability to make changes to the property, building equity/investment, privacy, and pride in ownership.
However, saving for a down payment continues to be the biggest barrier to first time homeownership. In fact, in 2014, 60 percent of renters said that saving for a down payment was a problem, an increase of nearly 15 percent since 2013.
“Buying your first home is a big step, and CHFA has several programs to make the process easier, including Downpayment Assistance Program (DAP) loans and homebuyer education classes,” Chatman added. The DAP program provides loans to cover the cost of the down payment and closing costs for low- to moderate-income borrowers. More than one-third (37 percent) of CHFA borrowers also take DAP loans, making the transition from renters to homeowners a little smoother and with minimum out-of-pocket costs.
CHFA offers homebuyer education classes to all borrowers, and for some loan programs, a class is required before closing. The classes provide financial basics as well as practical information on buying and maintaining a home. These classes are also increasing in popularity with attendance up 58 percent this year. Classes are offered through CHFA-approved counseling agencies and class schedules are posted at www.chfa.org
There are more than 110 CHFA Participating Lenders, so borrowers can check CHFA’s website to find a lender in their area.