From the Director, June 2017

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

Summer is always a busy time of year in North Dakota and for the housing industry this year isn’t any different.

While new home construction remains well off the record pace we saw just a few years ago, we are seeing more activity under NDHFA’s homeownership programs. Year-to-date through May, our flagship FirstHome™ program is up by 55 loans over 2016. That may not sound like a lot, but it amounts to about $10.4 million more in loans that we’ve purchased this year than last. That signals to me that as price increases have moderated, more people are taking advantage of the opportunity to become homeowners.

This was part of the economic playbook all along. As supply and demand reached equilibrium, those who had been shut out would again be able to enter the market. For many, though, the down payment assistance offered through NDHFA makes all the difference. In 2016, more than 80 percent of the borrowers using our programs also utilized this important resource. I expect that we will continue to see that trend this year and into the future.

Our partners know better than anyone that the past decade has been chock full of ups and downs, challenges and opportunities. In the case of a lot of first-time homebuyers, for everything in their favor, it seemed like there was something against them – interest rates were low, but prices were higher; new construction meant there were more homes on the market, but the competition was fierce. While things may have slowed down from the white hot housing market a few years ago, the people NDHFA loans are targeted at have benefited. The more people we can get into reasonable and affordable homeownership, the better off and more sustainable our communities and state will be.

Our main goal at NDHFA is to provide access to housing resources for the people who need it most. We can’t do that without our private sector partners and I want to express my deepest appreciation to you for making June Homeownership Month – and every month – a great time to buy a home.

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