Welcome to the new PRIMARQ website. To be honest, this is a “holding pattern” site as much is happening behind the scenes right now. Our goal is to be able to finally deliver on the vision that was scripted a few years back. Due to a variety of circumstances, we have been delayed in our desire to open our market, and with it, change the housing finance industry. But stay tuned. We are just about there.
This vision was conceived in 2009, as the housing market was going through serious gyrations as were the financial markets in general, leading to new legislation in the form of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Act, like financial regulatory legislation before it, has been an attempt to correct deficiencies, shortcoming and abuses within the US financial system, affecting financial institutions and their customers. In the case of Dodd Frank, the housing finance structure came under scrutiny, as subprime lending and mortgage securitizations paved the way for what became one of the gravest periods of economic dislocation and wealth destruction in US history. Our response was developed not from looking from the “inside out”, but rather assessing the overall construct of housing finance from an outside perspective, conceiving what a housing finance system should be and do – to aid in the pursuit of a core aspect of the American Dream – homeownership – but on a prudent and sustainable basis. Simply, the existing debt-laden orientation needed to be upset, with a better model, and we believe we have it.
The press has run rampant with stories of “the rentership generation”, the ramifications of the student loan overhang, and the growing disparity of wealth. Legislators and bankers seemed stymied in archaic thinking, still promoting a “buy now, pay later” approach to acquiring a home, indenturing many while continuing support of tax breaks for borrowing, and subsidizing the market through quantitative easing, benefiting borrowers not savers. And with all the “help” the housing market seems to receive, might it surprise one that the US ranks 34th globally in the rate of homeownership (at 65%), ranking behind China, Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Canada, Greece, Poland and so many more fragile economies? Maybe it’s time for a systemic change.
This is a formidable task. There are many constituents: homebuyers and owners, lenders and investors, realtors, legislators and regulators, all woven together in a eighty-year old framework. And we are talking “big money”, with a $17 trillion asset class, a $10 trillion mortgage market and an annual financing need of about a trillion dollars. And our conversations have evolved abroad, gaining interest in the European Union, Asia and South America, each and all understanding the importance of homeownership on their respective economies and socio-political landscapes.
So while we are a bit later to the market than anticipated, the desire and need remains acute. Ours is not just about building a billion dollar franchise (certainly, though, that is a goal). This is a mission: to make a difference, to enable and to broaden economic opportunity in a thoughtful, cogent and risk appropriate way. During this pre-launch period, we welcome conversation and discussion, we seek additional partners and partnerships, as we intend to etch an indelible mark on a fundamental part of the US and global economies.
Thank you for your patience and stay tuned.