Second quarter 2016 statistics have been released and they are not sending clear signals by any means.
On one hand, The National Association of Realtors reported that home prices rose in 83% of the nation’s 178 major real estate markets. Yet, according to CoreLogic Case Shiller Indices overall prices are now just 2% off the peak set in July 2006.
Homeownership rates are the lowest since the Census Bureau began tracking quarterly statistics in 1965 – now at 62.9%. Economists estimate 200,000 to 300,000 fewer US households are purchasing new homes annually, than during normal market conditions. The true American Dream of home ownership is in flux.
Personal wealth has always been driven for most by their homes. Retirement, tuition, vacations, and much more usually financed via home equity. Is there an entire generation of permanent renters out there? I hope not, for their sake.
First time home buyers are a critical piece of the puzzle and the government must support this vital future growth. Mortgage qualifications are a big part of today’s issues. Keep in mind, home sales create jobs and employ ancillary services from painting to landscaping. It was home sales and the economic boost it provided that pulled us out of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
How can lawmakers support growth from the bottom up?