Is the ‘American Dream’ now a rental?

Released: 
August 08, 2013

Home ownership in the U.S. is at a 15-year low, down to 65.4% from its peak at the height of the housing market.

President Obama took questions from Twitter yesterday about his administration's policy on mortgages and the housing market, a day after he called for the "winding down" of government mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The housing market does appear to be rebounding, but a lot of the trend is driven by investment - what about the average buyer, the homeowner?

The rate of homeownership in the US fell in 2012 to its lowest level in 15 years. Despite historically high affordability and low mortgage rates, 65.4 percent of Americans owned their own homes in 2012, down from a peak of 69.2 percent in 2004. The decline was most dramatic among Americans 35 to 44, among whom ownership slumped 7.5 percent. Rental property, however, is prospering. In 2012 the national rental vacancy rate slipped below 9 percent for the first time since 2002 and the average rent reached a near-record high of $721.

Check out today’s video and share it with your friends. Then weigh in on today’s discussion thread. Can you live the American dream without living in a home you own? If you wanted to buy a home, could you get a mortgage?