‘Nation of Renters’ Overstates Housing Market Shift

The 2007-09 recession and related financial crisis involved a dramatic rise in unemployment and foreclosures along with large declines in house prices. These changes have left millions of homeowners owing more on their mortgage than their house is currently worth. Credit availability was reduced as underwriting tightened in response to losses generated from loans made during the easy credit period of 2005-08. Thus, buying or keeping a house became tougher and the homeownership rate fell to its current level of under 66 percent from over 69 percent.

Meanwhile, people have begun to wonder just how far the ownership decline will go and whether owning a house really makes sense after all. Has homeownership permanently lost its luster?

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