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Report #201 | | Members | Sign In

Reimagining the Dream: The Future of Home Ownership

In this report, we provide you with statistics and figures, a healthy dose of history, and a menu of ideas and thought starters to help you reimagine the American dream.

  • Denise Gabel COO at Northwest Credit Union Association

Executive Summary

The dream of home ownership is hurting. After decades of steadily rising home ownership rates (peaking at 69% in 2004 ) and a glut of housing inventory, the home ownership aspirations of many Americans ran headlong into the concrete trifecta of rising unemployment, unsustainable home prices, and suddenly skittish lenders. Americans sold one million fewer homes (4.8 million) in the second quarter of 2009 than they did just two years before. Not only have many consumers put their home purchase plans on hold, they’ve begun to re-examine the institution of home ownership altogether.

What is the research about?

Filene employed two innovation processes in this report to generate multiple home ownership idea concepts for credit unions to consider. First, Filene’s i3 group delivers the concept of the Responsible Rent Loan, whereby the credit union helps build a community by connecting property investors with qualified renters. The second innovation process tapped high-IQ individuals through Mensa Process® to generate multiple ideas using an online ideation method. Their ideas are divided into four categories: purchasing, partnerships, protection, and perks.

What are the credit union implications?

For financial services, the dream of home ownership is stitched together with products like mortgage loans, equity lines of credit, and escrow accounts. Credit unions today hold just 3.2% of outstanding mortgages. And although that number has risen during the mortgage crisis, assisting more members and writing more home loans has long been a goal of credit unions.

This report asks credit unions to consider the current trends outlined here and the changing landscape, think beyond mere mortgages, and consider how to redefine the American dream. Use the ideas and concepts provided as you define the new American dream.