Cost & convenience motivate Americans to move

COVID-19 is affecting housing choices for 46% of Americans participating in a recent Lending Tree survey, who are willing to relocate in 2021 for various reasons related to affordability and square footage.

More often than not, cost tops the list of living situation concerns. Up to 44% of the more than 2,000 people who responded to the survey said the number one reason they wish to move is “because their home is too expensive.”

“The economic crisis has adversely affected the finances of many Americans,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree’s chief economist. “Even those who have kept their jobs and added to savings, via stimulus and spending less due to staying home, are likely worried about the stability of their financial position.”

If fear of financial instability is motivating many Americans to re-evaluate housing costs and to look for more affordable options, telecommuting is bringing other COVID-19 related needs and preferences to the forefront. Both are contributing to an exodus from large urban metro areas.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the living situation for more than a third of survey respondents generating a new type of demand.

Up to 67% of consumers “now desire home amenities and features they didn’t previously consider,” analysts note, and a dedicated office space was not their number one priority.     

More than a quarter, or 27% desire a yard, the second most desired feature was a bigger kitchen at 18%, while office space came third with only 16% or one in six respondents, “which may serve a dual purpose of providing space for working adults and children who are learning remotely.”

One reason other housing a yard and larger kitchen came to the top could be that since March 2020, out of immediate necessity, many people already have taken measures to accommodate their remote work needs.

More than 1 in 4, or 27% of the survey participants want to stay within their current area, according to the report. Yet, 44%of these respondents also are willing to move to reduce living expenses.

The top two reasons behind a potential move were a tie, as “My current home is too small” was the top concern for 27% of respondents and “looking for different features” for another 27%. The third reason was “I’d rather live in a different part of town,” true for 12% of the respondents.

Understandably, remote workers are more likely to consider a move, the report notes. Up to 64% of the respondents in this group, or more than 6 in 10 remote workers considering relocation in the next 12 months – compared to only 31% of those who still have to commute to work.

 “Remote work is unlocking a different type of demand for both homebuyers and renters who wish to move,” according to a related survey of remote workers conducted by LendingTree.

It found that nearly half or 47% of Americans are working from home, and 27% of them are thinking about relocating locally, primarily to secure “different in-home features,” such as bigger kitchens or office space.

Larry E. Thompson re-elected vice chair, FHLBNY Board

The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) announced Larry E. Thompson has been re-elected by its board of directors to serve as the board’s vice chair for a two-year term starting January 1, 2021. Thompson has served on the FHLBNY’s board as an independent director since January 1, 2014.

On January 1, 2018, Thompson became vice chair of the board. He also serves as chairman of the board’s risk committee, as vice chair of the board’s executive committee, and as a member of the board’s corporate governance and external affairs committee. 

Thompson also currently chairs a Federal Home Loan Bank System working group on diversity and inclusion.

FHLBNY is one of the system’s 11 congressionally chartered, regional, stockholder-owned wholesale banks serving 321 financial institutions in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

“In my tenure on the Board, it has been incredibly gratifying to see the FHLBNY have a direct, positive impact on the local communities we serve,” said Thompson. “Over the past year, as our region and our nation have faced the many challenges and uncertainties, presented by the pandemic, the FHLBNY has remained a reliable partner to its members and a trusted supporter of these communities. I look forward to continuing the work the Board and management does to strengthen our cooperative.”

Thomson is the former vice chair of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and chairman of the board of DTCC Deriv/SERV LLC. He led DTCC’s public policy engagement with key regulators and lawmakers globally, served as a senior advisor and as member of the DTCC Management Committee.

He became managing director and first deputy general counsel of DTCC in 2004 and elected general counsel in 2005. Previously, Thompson served as associate counsel at The Depository Trust Company (DTC), then vice president and deputy general counsel in 1991, senior vice president in 1993, general counsel of DTC in 1999.

Thompson also was a partner in Lake, Bogan, Lenoir, Jones & Thompson. Thompson began his legal career at Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1981. He is a 2005 David Rockefeller Fellow and former chairman of the Securities Clearing Group and former co-chairman of the Unified Clearing Group.

“Since joining the Board, Larry has significantly contributed to the growth and success of our franchise through his guidance and leadership, and we are thrilled to have him continue in his role as vice chairman,” said José R. González, president and CEO of the FHLBNY. 

Network Capital acquires $800M servicing portfolio

Network Capital Funding Corporation, a mortgage lending fintech focused on refinancing home loans since its inception in 2002, announced the acquisition of $800 million loan servicing portfolio to generate additional revenue for its 2021 expansion goals. 

The purchase “from a big player in the service industry,” the lender said without revealing additional details, marks a significant expansion of Network Capital’s portfolio of products the expansion of its core mission into loan servicing. 

The Miami based company reportedly will leverage the loan portfolio to further increase revenue via a diversified mortgage loan menu that includes jumbo loans, cash-outs, self-employed borrower loans, FHA, non-QM options.

“We are very happy about this significant acquisition and believe we will be able to service these loans with particular care and diligence. This is just the beginning of Network Capital’s new business model trajectory,” said Tri Nguyen, CEO of Network Capital.

With the total net loan acquisition at approximately $800 million, margins will increase “and our continued success of rapidly closing loans at low rates will only become a stronger component of our wheelhouse operations,” he added. In addition, the loan portfolio investments “will allow Network Capital to increase our loan offerings.”

The acquisition follows other key investments the fintech lender made earlier this year in line with its expansion goals by the fourth quarter of 2021 – which include new branch facilities, cloud technology integration and an influx of new employees, said Nguyen.

Late in October, Network Capital reported the expansion of its total office space to over 65,000 square feet of new sales floor space in Miami, Florida and Irvine, California.

Increasing the facilities’ space at both locations, will allow the company to bring on more than 600 employees as a way to increase the number of loans processed daily, according to a statement. 

“We have invested in new facilities exceeding 23,206 sq. ft in downtown Miami, Florida and an additional 42,260 sq. ft. in Irvine, California. These investments will allow Network Capital to increase our number of employees, and rapidly close loans for customers with new and extensive cloud technology integration in the coming months,” explained Nguyen.

So far, Network Capital featured in Forbes’ Work Life Balance list in 2020, and Fortune Magazine’s Top Places to Work in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020.

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