Daughter Of Mortgage Bankers Association CEO Has Lost Faith In American Homeownership Dream

Tyler Durden's picture

"The world has changed," explains the 27-year old daughter of David Stevens - CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Despite her father's constant 30-year pitch of the merits of homeownership - and knowing full well that rates are low, rents are high, and owning a home 'builds wealth' - Sara Stevens is not buying. After watching "cousins and other family members go through pretty tough situations in 2008 and 2009," her skepticism is broad-based as Bloomberg reports, t’s more than the weight of student loans, an iffy job market and tight credit -- even those who can buy are hesitant. As Bloomberg so eloquently concludes, when even the cheerleader-in-chief for housing can’t get a rah-rah out of his daughter, you know this time is different.

As Bloomberg reports,

Six years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a financial meltdown, some young adults are more risk averse and view the potential upsides of status and wealth more skeptically than before the crisis, altering the homeownership calculation. It’s more than the weight of student loans, an iffy job market and tight credit -- even those who can buy are hesitant.


The doubt is so pervasive that it’s eroded entry-level sales and hampered the recovery. In May, the share of first-time buyers fell for the third month, to 27 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. Historically, it’s been closer to 40 percent of all buyers.


“We have a younger generation that has sat on the front lines of this housing recession,” said Stevens, 57. “They’re clearly being more thoughtful about it and they’re clearly deferring that decision.”




As the charts above show, Sara Stevens and other millennials -- the generation born beginning in the early 1980s -- started coming of age just as housing collapsed.

Sara was just out of college in 2009 when President Barack Obama put her dad in charge of the Federal Housing Administration. Part of his job was to lobby Congress not to dismantle the financial architecture that had made it possible for generations of Americans -- including himself -- to buy homes. He also was juggling pleas from family and friends who couldn’t pay their adjustable-rate mortgages or sell their devalued houses.


“I watched cousins and other family members go through pretty tough situations in 2008 and 2009,” Sara said.




Most still aspire to own, though just 52 percent consider homeownership an “excellent long-term investment,” according to an April survey from the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. And almost three-fourths of adults 18 to 34 years old say the U.S. still is in the throes of a housing crisis, a bigger share than any other age group.

Nothing to fear but fear itself (and massive wealth destruction)...

“We’ve weathered the storm of the crash and Lehman going under better than they have,” said Fleming, 42, calling millennials jaded. “Like their grandparents who went through the depression, they’re apprehensive about overextending themselves.”

At the Stevens household, it’s not lost on Sara that a cheerleader-in-chief for housing can’t get a rah-rah out of his daughter, especially when she’s done everything right.

“There was a sense that the window was closing to get a good deal and be able to participate in the American dream,” Buckley said. Today, there’s “tremendous uncertainty about whether the value of that investment is going to be worth the commitment and risk.”

*  *  *
No matter all that "reality" - the Fed and its apologists will keep plugging away at the same transmission channels... but this time (as noted above) that transmission channel merely moves the American Dream further out of the grasp of first-time buyers, the middle-class, and anyone aspirational enough to desire a home... and shifts it squarely into the wealthy driving inequality even wider... As we noted previously, perhaps that is the greatest Irony of Obama's presidential demands to battle inequality...

Inequality in the U.S. today is near its historical highs, largely because the Federal Reserve’s policies have succeeded in achieving their aim: namely, higher asset prices (especially the prices of stocks, bonds and high-end real estate), which are generally owned by taxpayers in the upper-income brackets. The Fed is doing all the work, because the President’s policies are growth-suppressive. In the absence of the Fed’s money printing and ZIRP, the economy would either be softer or actually in a new recession. 


The greatest irony is that the President is railing against inequality as one of the most important problems of the day, despite the fact that his policies are squeezing the middle class and causing the Fed – with the President’s encouragement – to engage in the radical monetary policy, which is exacerbating inequality. This simple truth cannot be repeated often enough.

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LetThemEatRand's picture

The average 20 something already has the equivalent of a mortgage, but it's called student debt.  And it's non-dischargeable.  So they are staying away from the trap of home ownership, but they'll be paying their student debt for about as long, so the bankers win again.

CrazyCooter's picture

Bought a house in the bubble ... divorced ... finally let it go to foreclosure. Fannie Mae is still trying to find their ass with both hands, which pisses me off because I want the bill so I can get this in the rear view mirror.

I will never buy a house again, or property for that matter, unless I can get an allodial title to the land. Go wiki that ...

If I am going to be a tax mule for the rest of my life, I need to be able to move to "greener pastures" as it were.



rubiconsolutions's picture

@Cooter - Good luck with finding any land that you can get allodial title to. I bought some rural land in Colorado forty years ago and own it free and clear. One of those things that my dad told me would be a good investment. It wasn't. The taxes are $9 a year or so for 40 acres. The land is so far out in the sticks that there's no power, no water (unless a well is drilled) and no roads to speak of. It is not maintained by the county in any way, shape or form. And yet if I stop paying my taxes I lose the property even though no services are provided. There is no such thing in this country as real property ownership, we're all just glorified renters. People have lost their homes for a tax bill of less than $100. There is no real incentive to own property other than some tax benefits on the interest. 

Pladizow's picture

Who the fuck gives a shit about the opinion of a 27 yr old girl.

Her life experiences must be soooooo vast!

Want no property tax, then look beyond the walls of the US plantation!

daveO's picture

It's a Bloomberg article about a banker's daughter. That'a akin to Moses coming down off the mount with his 10 Commandments in hand.

Anusocracy's picture

That'll teach him not to have a latch-key child.

FEDbuster's picture

A bunch of the 20 and 30 somethings are waking up to the scam skipping college, debt, marrige, kids, mortgages, income tax etc.....  Live for the minute, day, week but not the month, year or decade.  Maybe they are on to something?

chumbawamba's picture

Maybe she's not as inured to life yet as your typical ZH burnout.  Don't diss-miss the youth, yo.


All Risk No Reward's picture

Attack the person when the message is actually pretty decent... relative to the regular BanksterStream hype machine?

Given all the establishment bubble talk and fearmongering, though, I have to wonder if these are signals to the Debt Money Tyrant minions that the Debt Money Tyranrts are in process of pulling the plug on their latest criminal credit bubble.

Weapons of Mass Debt

Debt Money Tyranny

FreedomCostsaBuck-o-Five's picture

Down arrow for wasting our time with those links. Use a real web service.

Cthonic's picture

  "$9 a year or so for 40 acres"

Maybe ya meant $9k ?  Otherwise sounds like the lowest property tax bill, ever.

rubiconsolutions's picture

$8.65 to be exact. I'm telling you it is way out in the boondocks. My dad told me it would be a great investment. Uh, it hasn't been. I keep it just in case of the apocalypse. 

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

What is prospect of subterranean copper deposit?

Stoploss's picture

Fuck copper, he's probably got oil and gas in there somewhere.

Call a driller out there an see what they say.

That's what your dad was talking about when he said investment.


daveO's picture

Total expenses are all that matter. You've got a great property. If you can find water, you're set. Don't ever sell. I'd buy it for $10.


I bought land six years ago and just cleared it to make it ready for my house and then CANADA's Finance Minister scared the shit out of me with his threats to increase interest rates so I sold the land. I owned the land for three years and made good profit when I sold it which leads me to say that you are wholeheartedly wrong about incentive. Land can be a good buy if you plan on selling it when the market is right. Ownership of anything can be a liability but the name of the game in real estate is to sell high and buy low. It actually works well if one is constantly reviewing

the market. This present market is extremely bad and I can agree with the spoiled rich kid when it comes to avoiding this market all over CANADA and the USA. High end sales are supposed to be doing quite well over the last month in CANADA but low end stuff is just sitting there collecting dust. There is no churn in the average market sale.

Homeowners are literally fucked with overhead and hyperinflation.

Singelguy's picture

Can I borrow your crystal ball so that I can know exactly when to buy and when to sell? Oh, and also see if I will have enough income to service the debt while I own it ?

I Write Code's picture

Something to do with mud flats?

booboo's picture

 A trap is something you can't get out of, like, say.....student debt. A mortgage on a overpriced home is just a shitty deal that people have been walking away from in droves, huge difference.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Yep, with a mortgage you can be like a WS Bankster and just walk away.  With edumacation loans, they have written them to remove the possibility of walking away.

I believe that is one of baby bush's gifts to America...  Made sure businesses are whole and then started nonsense unfunded wars.

Elected Family dynasties must be the defn of insanity.

teslaberry's picture


no the every 20-something in america has a portion of the NATIONAL DEBT wehther they like it or not. 


this means their grandparents won't have any inheritance to leave to them and might need their help more because their fixed income is buying less and less. 

it means, their  free 'health care' will be of lower and lower quality.

it means their public libraries and schools will be poorly maintained.

it means their public transportation will cost more per ride, and less services will be provided.

it means their roads won't be fixed.

it means they will face the prospects of a broke government that borrowed money FROM DEVALUING THEIR NATIONAL PUBLIC MONEY SUPPLY to fund banks and profits like a drunken drunk from 2008 to 2014. 


a 27 years old person may understand what happened, call me an old 34 year old, but i look at yonger folks and most even my age, and they are all more or less ignorant to the crimes that occured, and pass off an understanding that 'everything is corrupt' as sufficient thoughtfullness about our sitution. 

in many ways, they are right. how much do you really need to understand other than things are fucked?

RaiZH's picture

Nail gun... honour killing? 

I am Jobe's picture


Prescription Drugs


Gun Shot


knukles's picture

Not to mention that she doesn't probably need a mortgage since she (daddy) bought her (the family second home) 3,756 sq ft  loft in Chelsea complete with 2 secure direct parking places serviced by a private elevator with 24/7 concierge and doorman, for cash. 

CheapBastard's picture

A major strength of America is “mobility.” By that I mean a Florida employer does not mind hiring a [qualified] Merikan who lives across the country in Oregon, for example. He knows full well that Merikan can and will move with little fuss a few thousand miles for the job….unless….



Unless that Merikan has lead weights tied to his ankles some call “mortgages” weighing him down to that spot in Oregon. Even MSM had an article other day saying this is the “worst time ever to buy a house” because “mobility” is an extremely precious quality.

CrazyCooter's picture

Bee - Eye - In - Gee - Oh!

Rent is now one calculation in my quantification of living standards. Always complicated, but if I genuinely think I can get a much better deal somewhere else, I am packing and moving.

Any youngsters that don't fully appreciate owning a vehicle that can haul your shit and being debt free so you can pack and go ain't got no gumption! You don't have to live in your car, but you also don't have to be tied down to a douche bag city council or broke dick state legislature!



FEDbuster's picture

Goin' Mobile - The Who

"I don't care about pollution
I'm an air-conditioned gypsy
That's my solution
Watch the police and the tax man miss me
I'm mobile
Oooooh, yeah, hee!"

PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

Well, even if it isn't true, it should be.

Zeta Reticuli's picture

Wow! That's cheap! I'll take two.

Sarcasm alert

TeamDepends's picture

To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth. The plows crossed and recrossed the rivulet marks. The last rains lifted the corn quickly and scattered weed colonies and grass along the sides of the roads so that the gray country and the dark red country began to disappear under a green cover. In the last part of May the sky grew pale and the clouds that had hung in high puffs for so long in the spring were disappated. The sun flared down on the growing corn each day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet. The clouds appeared, and went away, and in a while they did not try any more. The weeds grew darker green to protect themselves, and they did not spread any more. The surface of the earth crusted, a thin hard crust, and as the sky became pale, so the earth became pale, pink in the red country and white in the gray country.

The Grapes Of Wrath- John Steinbeck

I am Jobe's picture

The figured out the scam- HOMEOWNERSHIP and the AMERIKAN DREAM. 

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

this time is never different, or is it always different, crap, I always get that confused.

bonin006's picture

If last time was good, this time is different.

Seasmoke's picture

Time for a JUBILEE and RESET

auntiesocial's picture

hindsight is a motherfucker.

syntaxterror's picture

where are you going to put 5 truckloads of Chinese-made junk without a shit shack?

I am Jobe's picture

Better question will they work at FOXCONN. Probably not below their status however would like their IPHONES, ANDROID and IPADS. Fuck off cunts

I am Jobe's picture

She should have gone to the Oprah show topromote homebuying as part of the Dream. She would have seen the dumb fuck women screaming about the dreams. 

joethegorilla's picture

You are signing a paper pledging 30-35% of your wages for 30 years. The structure depreciates like a car, faster if you are renting it. Selling it incurs a 9% transaction cost and you are stuck if you can't sell.  You better be pretty sure your income is inreasing or at least stable.  Not for eveyone.

BobTheSlob's picture

I prefer this scenario: I sign a paper pledging 30-35% of Sara's wages.

bunnyswanson's picture

The banks are the reason owning a home has been a fiasco.  Owning a home makes sense in every way unless a person moves from town to town.  A strong community in which the neighbors have known each other known each other for years is a solid community.  Danger is less likely in these situations.  Collateral in the home can be used for a number of things including retirement and the cost of skill facility when a senior citizen.  But the banks want us in the stock market, not putting our wad in housing...because they have less ability to steal it.

I've lived in my neighborhood for 15 years.  All my neigbors but 3 are now 2nd and 3rd owners since 2008.  This is a SCAM.  FEDEX and UPS were at my door every week for months, attempting to convince me to refinance my home loan.  My neighbor fell for it.  She loved this community so much she sold one home and bought another one street away, has lived here since 1982.  Refinancing took a surprise turn when the clock was made to run out just when "issues" arose.  First of all, she was working when she bought her home and is now retired.  She also married while in her home but her husband is not on the mtg.  That means her income has changed.  She is no longer eligible for a loan on the home.  Clock was running out and foreclosure was suddenly in the picture becuase "she could not make a payment" until the new loan was in place.  I saw her 2 weeks ago, driving up the street in her truck at about 50 MPH, with a look on her face of anxiety and urgency...Her house was being auctioned off.  I walked over there yesterday, and her home is open for business, flyers lie on the kitchen counters for the new buyer for loan applications.

Owning a house is the American dream.  Not hearing or seeing your neighbor everytime you move is a perk and if you have ever lived in a rental, a bad neighbor can impact the quality of life significantly.  Not to mention the write offs which can bring down tax liability on income.  (Property tax, interest, insurance, improvements are all write offs).

But this is a scheme and now declaring "renting" the preferred way to go is ludicrous.  Agenda 21 is behind the scenes and the propaganda machine is working OT to convince you that corraling you into highrises in the city is the way to go...Unfuckingbelievable.

daveO's picture

Owning, with a mortgage, is renting. It's just from a bankster(not including the tax landlord). My 84 yr old neighbor has lived there for 40 years. Owes more than the house is worth, to a bank. She actually was complaining that they couldn't get another loan because their house was appraised for less than before (2006), when they got their current loan. I didn't have the nerve to ask her for, what in the h3ll, were they trying to borrow more money. I would love to have their 40 years worth of interest payments. It'd be worth, at least, 3 times the value of their house!


bunnyswanson's picture

Turning us all into consumers took some effort.  I've been around long enough to notice that during the Great Credit Extension, the view was quite different than ever before.  Suddenly, new stores were opening up and staying open 24/7.  Designer merchandise with bargain prices.  20% off if you applied for a revolving credit care at the same time and it was a STEAL.  The generosity did not stop there.  Dog biscuits were handed out by every drive through (I travel with a dog at times).  Banks, coffee stands, fast food drive throughs.  All had dog treats..some gave 2. But the loans were predatory.  Banks were not always this way.  Lending responsibly is just good business if you care about the community.  Debt is stressful and people cannot stand that much stress, it's a burder that requires eventual relief, or hope of relief. 


The money that they spent to promote their agenda (indebting Americans beyond their ability to pay) and then jerking the rug out from under them is basically crimes against humanity.  That the government stood by and allowed this to unfold, knowing as many experts did, of the consequences should make every voter take a good look at their elected officials.  Govt are in place to run the infrastructure, not the people.  Tax money is there to finance the investigations and oversight.  You cannot expect more from your population than you do your government.  They are just regular people who fell for it.  Everyone was rich, it was a free for all and it was a set up.  Americans are being framed and by the time this is over, if nothing gets done to rid the treasonous politicians from the decision making process, the price they will pay will be far worse than even they deserve.  This whole ordeal has been seasoned with disdain. 

Thirtyseven's picture

The alternative is to shell out 40-50% of your after-tax take home pay in rent.

Not exactly a win win. 

For a young not-really-millenial like myself (I am pre-approved for a mortgage but I haven't found any I like plus I think the market will tank eventually) I'll still take the house when the right one comes along.  Some of you folks who might be "stuck" in a home probably think renting is fantastic....but it ain't.

Renting literally feels like waking up in the morning and lighting two twenties on fire (every....single....morning).  I'd rather have a couple ounces of silver, or at least pretend I'm paying myself back in equity and a tax write off.



NihilistZero's picture

The alternative is to shell out 40-50% of your after-tax take home pay in rent.

And in the bubble areas your spending even more on a mortgage, tax deduction included.  At this point I don't see how anybody who buys in 2014 with the minimum down payument isn't upside down within 3 years tops.  The FED Monetary-Meth binge is ending.  It has to for their own survival.  The market basically reached a stand still before the taper!  The recent numbers reflecting miniscule volume and more luxury sales support this.  Anyone buying into the death throes of Housing Bubble 2.0 is a fool.

HastaLaVictoriaSiempre's picture

If you spend 40-50% of your income on rent you are either in the wrong part of town OR the wrong line of work.  A common situation in Manhattan... The current asking prices for condos here are so out of whack with the median salary it is laughable. I'd rather "burn a few twenties" every morning now and buy in a few years when the whole thing comes crashing down than join this game of musical chair.


BobTheSlob's picture

I loooooooove Sara Stevens and millennials that think like her. They are the reason that I have 100% occupancy in my rentals! You go girl!! That's da beauty with rental property. Put down 20%, let some other wackdoodle pay off your mortgage and even if you sell it at a loss it makes little difference.

Tegrat's picture

Started being a landlord at 24 years old in 1990. Real Estate has been great for me. I even sold into strength to pay off several others about a year after 9/11. Been debt free on my rentals and everything but my mtg ever since. I had about 25% vacancy for about 1/2 year after 9/11 but otherwise has been a great. Rents keeping up with inflation for sure.