story in the Wall Street Journal gave these new homeownership numbers some context:
“The annual increase marks a crucial turning point because it comes after the federal government reined in bubble-era policies that encouraged banks to ease lending standards to boost homeownership. This time, what’s driving the market is a shift in favor of owning rather than renting.
‘This is market, market and market…There’s no government incentive program in sight that is having this effect,’ said Susan Wachter, a professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, ‘This is back to basics.’”
In a separate report comparing the rental population in America to the homeowner population, RentCafé also concluded that the gap is now shrinking.
“Undoubtedly, the recession had a great impact on homeownership…However, it looks like it takes more to discourage Americans from buying a house than that.
As the years go by, it seems more and more certain that the fact that renting has seen a sudden gain in popularity is more a reaction to the economic crisis than a paradigm shift in the Americans’ attitude toward housing.”
America’s belief in homeownership was also evidenced in a recent survey by Pew Research. They asked consumers “How important is homeownership to achieving the American Dream?”
43% said homeownership was essential to the American Dream
48% said homeownership was important to the American Dream
Only 9% said it was not important