News from The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The American dream of homeownership has felt its biggest drop since the Great Depression, according to new 2010 census figures released Thursday.
The analysis by the Census Bureau found the homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent last year. While that level remains the second highest decennial rate, analysts say the U.S. may never return to its mid-decade housing boom peak in which nearly 70 percent of occupied households were owned by their residents.
Part of the reason is that from 1995 to 2008 the rate increased so much. The National Home Ownership Strategy that began in 1995 was intended to expand home ownership, based on the fear that it was falling. However, the subprime fiasco jacked the rate way up to 70%, and it has fallen as the foreclosure crisis threw people from owner to renter (or homeless) status. Will it ever go back to 70% again? I doubt it--at least not in the forseeable future. But I don't think that's a bad thing in itself. We don't all need to be home owners, and in fact lots of condo buildings should and will become apartment building in the years to come.