Homeownership: Now vs. Then

Independence Day is rapidly approaching. Next week’s commemoration of country, home and family will see people enjoying their homes and neighborhoods as they celebrate. With the importance of that day in mind, NAR President Moe Veissi noted the following, comparing homeownership today to the time of our Founding Fathers.

For more on the history of homeownership in the U.S. as well as the full Jefferson quote, read the article here >

Lawrence Yun, PhD., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President

Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.

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  1. Do you believe the homeownership rate is valid…. do they count people who are being foreclosed on.

    Housing Prediction in for 2011

    Consequences of an unstable market.

    The longer term consequences of an unstable residential real estate market may be more serious than just the destruction of individual wealth. The ideal of middle class homeownership may be at stake. The census bureau reported a 7% decline in national rental vacancy rates in 2010, along with an overall decline 0.7% in homeownership rates compared to a year ago. There were fewer “organic” buyers, more renters and more investment buyers in the market in 2010 and I expect this trend to continue into 2011. Are we at the beginning of a sociological movement away from middle class homeownership and towards a cultural split between the investment property landlords and their renters both of whom may have less personal investment in neighborhood security, local schools and shared public facilities compared to primary homeowers?

    It is still far too early to tell if the US market is undergoing a systemic change or will eventually return to what we would recognize as a normal market. I can predict with some confidence however that the pain is not over. 2011 will bring more foreclosures, higher interest rates, declining home prices and slow sales due to lack qualified buyers and lack of confidence among those who are qualified

    The fact that I got the interest rate call wrong even prove my main thesis from day 1. We simply don’t have enough qualified home buyers (excluding cash buyers) to take on the true massive inventory we have in this country. This is why existing and new home sales are at historically pathetic levels even with interest rates are super low levels for year.