There’s No Place Like Home

Jan 11, 2022

Throughout America many families are living in homes with financial partners that might surprise them: life insurance companies.

Life insurance companies quietly support America’s residential home mortgage market, providing $31.2 billion in mortgage financing. To be sure, they are not the leading provider of home mortgage financing. But they play an important role in helping families in some of the poorest communities in the United States have a place they can call home.

For example, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border is the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas metropolitan statistical area, or “MSA,” one of the poorest areas in the United States. Life insurers have provided $3.4 million in residential mortgage financing and $15.3 million in investments in apartment buildings and multi-family units there, providing housing for hundreds of families.

Meanwhile, in central California’s Visalia-Tulare-Porterville’s MSA, life insurer investments total nearly $32 million in residential mortgages for 197 homes. In the North Carolina shoreline area of Jacksonville, life insurers have invested $7 million in residential loans for 48 homes.

Among the 10 poorest MSAs in the country, life insurers have invested $203 million in residential mortgages – representing 1,249 loans – and another $296 million in apartment buildings and multi-family units – a total of nearly half a billion invested in our most challenged regions.

Life insurer investments in these communities extend to other mortgages as well – in retail, office space, agriculture and industry, for example. In all, life insurers have provided $3.4 billion in mortgage financing in these 10 areas. 

Life insurers seek safe, conservative investments wherever they may be that will help them make good on their guarantees to financially protect families and retirees from all walks of life. And their investments extend far beyond mortgages to include stocks and bonds as well.

Opportunities to invest in families’ homes, farms, community businesses and more in low-income areas will likely increase in the future. And life insurance companies can be expected to continue investing in low-income areas, providing invaluable financial support to those communities.

Andrew Melnyk

Andrew Melnyk is Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). He holds a doctorate in economics and is a Certified Business Economist. His functions at ACLI include authoring white papers; managing the production of statistical publications; and managing ACLI’s Research Department. Prior to joining ACLI in 2005, he held positions in academia, government, and the private sector, both in the U.S. and abroad.