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房利美前任首席執行官:新經濟危機對房價影響不大

Robert Hackett 2019年09月02日

梅耶珀羅斯說,自大蕭條以來,貸款的質量已經有所改善,而且借貸決策也有更多更好的數據可供參考,因此系統風險得以降低。

當美國的房產泡沫在2007年破滅時,隨之而來的信貸危機在全球掀起了長達數年的經濟衰退潮。如今,有鑒于緊張的國際貿易局勢以及全球增長的放緩,“經濟蕭條可能即將來臨”成為了熱議的話題。人們想知道,經濟下行對房地產市場會造成什么樣的影響。

房利美的前首席執行官蒂姆·梅耶珀羅斯對此持樂觀態度,該抵押貸款巨頭為三分之一的美國住宅提供資助。他在最新一期《平衡分類賬戶》專欄(Balancing The Ledger)中對《財富》雜志的羅伯特·哈克特和簡·韋茲內透露:“相對于10年前,我對當前房地產市場的現狀和價格并沒有那么擔心。”《平衡分類賬戶》是財富的一檔欄目,報道金融與科技的交叉領域。

梅耶珀羅斯說:“從房地產市場的角度來看,我認為當下一場經濟危機到來時,我們將能夠很好地經受住考驗。”他在今年年初受聘擔任舊金山金融科技初創企業Blend的總裁,該公司致力于制作銀行軟件。(梅耶珀羅斯于2018年10月離開房利美,此前曾經擔任該公司首席執行官6年,總法律顧問3年。)

梅耶珀羅斯說,自大蕭條以來,貸款的質量已經有所改善,而且借貸決策也有更多更好的數據可供參考,因此系統風險得以降低,但10年前并不是這樣。

梅耶珀羅斯說:“我在信貸危機期間加入了房利美,我可以確認的是,公司資產負債表上有1800萬美元的房貸,但我們很難理解它們實際上都是什么貸款,因為其中的每一筆貸款都有數百頁的書面報告,但我們實際所掌握的數據與我們想要的數據相距甚遠。”

梅耶珀羅斯說,自己當前的雇主Blend致力于幫助富國這類銀行實現抵押貸款申請流程的數字化,也正在維修此前受損的系統。公司正在讓金融公司“真正依賴數據而不是文件。”

Blend的首席執行官及聯合創始人尼瑪·格哈姆薩里與梅耶珀羅斯一道參加了《平衡分類賬戶》欄目。他說,房地產市場和他的業務正處于上升期。Blend的私下估值略低于10億美元。

格哈姆薩里說,抵押貸款“利率如今真的很合適”。他還指出,“我們看到,公司平臺在再融資領域出現了不小的增長。”他認為主要原因在于美聯儲于7月削減了利率。

格哈姆薩里說:“我是在過去兩年于Blend工作期間申請了自己的第一筆抵押貸款。我覺得自己應該有能力在今后很長一段時間內來逐漸償還這筆貸款。”

格哈姆薩里預計,基于分布式數據庫的熱門科技區塊鏈將讓消費者在未來獲得更大的財務數據掌控權。他說:“這個領域可能在未來18至24個月內會發生異常迅速的變化,而且它有可能在未來五年之內變為主流。”

與此同時,購房者的年齡段也會發生變化。梅耶珀羅斯稱:“有色人群將在今后幾十年中成為新購房者的主力軍。”

與主流觀點相反的是,千禧一代也將考慮為自己找一個家。梅耶珀羅斯說:“千禧一代感興趣的房子并不一定是時髦的城市公寓。他們實際上希望居住在他們自小長大的那種郊區房屋。”(財富中文網)

譯者:馮豐

審校:夏林

When the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2007, the resulting credit crunch helped kick off a global, years-long economic downturn. Now, as international trade tensions and slowing global growth spur talk of a possible, impending recession, people are wondering, how might such a slump affect the real estate market?

Tim Mayopoulos, the former chief executive of Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant that finances roughly a third of American homes, is sanguine about the situation. “I’m much less worried about the state of housing and home prices than I was 10 years ago,” he told Fortune’s Robert Hackett and Jen Wieczner on the latest episode of Balancing The Ledger, Fortune’s show covering the intersection of finance and technology.

“I think when the next recession comes, we'll be able to weather that actually pretty well, from a housing market perspective,” said Mayopoulos, who at the start of the year became president of Blend, a San Francisco-based financial tech startup that makes software for banks. (Mayopoulos left Fannie Mae in October 2018 after a six-year tenure at the helm, plus three additional years as general counsel.)

Since the Great Recession, loans have improved in quality and lending decisions have been based on more and better data, reducing systemic risk, Mayopoulos said. That wasn’t the case a decade ago.

“I was joining Fannie Mae right as the crisis was hitting, and I can confirm that, you know, with 18 million mortgage loans on our balance sheet, it was very hard for us to understand actually what was in those loans, because for every one of those 18 million loans we had hundreds of pages of paper, but we didn't really have nearly as much data as we wanted to have,” Mayopoulos said.

Mayopoulos’s current employer, Blend, which digitizes mortgage application processes for banks such as Wells Fargo, is repairing a system that was formerly broken, he said. The company is getting financial firms “to really rely on data instead of documents.”

Nima Ghamsari, CEO and cofounder of Blend, which is privately valued just under $1 billion, also joined Mayopoulos on Balancing The Ledger. He said that the housing market—and his business—is booming.

Mortgage “rates are really good right now,” Ghamsari said. “We're seeing a big uptick in refinances on our platform,” he noted, citing the Federal Reserve’s July decision to cut interest rates as a major contributing factor.

“I, personally, got my first mortgage while I was at Blend in the last two years, and it was something that I think, hopefully, I'll be able to hold onto for a long time,” Ghamsari said.

Blockchains, a buzzy technology based on distributed databases, will give consumers more control over their financial data in the years to come, Ghamsari predicted. “That's probably a space that's going to evolve pretty quickly over the next maybe 18-24 months, and hopefully it'll become mainstream in the next five years,” he said.

Meanwhile, the demographics of homebuyers will shift too. “Communities of color will actually be the largest proportion of new home buyers in coming decades,” Mayopoulos said.

Contrary to popular belief, millennials will also be looking to plant roots. “The kinds of homes [millennials] are interested in are not necessarily the hip urban apartment,” Mayopoulos said. “They actually want to live in suburban homes like the ones that they grew up in.”

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