Future of Homeownership

December 14, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 44
Should government do more to help homeowners?
By Barbara Mantel


Laura Young and her husband, Andre Gjerde (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Public relations worker Laura Young, 29, and her husband, Andre Gjerde, 31, a translator, were able to buy a new Seattle-area house, thanks to the weak housing market. “We were just shocked we were able to get it” at such a low price, says Young of their 2011 purchase. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The housing market is finally showing signs of recovery after the housing crash and Great Recession of the late 2000s. The number of foreclosed homes is shrinking, sales of homes are climbing, prices are rebounding and builders are ramping up construction. Yet the share of Americans who own their homes dropped to 65.5 percent in the third quarter — the lowest since 1997. Many of today's buyers are investors who are snapping up houses in some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods and converting them into rentals, which experts say is a new trend. Analysts wonder whether many Americans are permanently rejecting homeownership in favor of renting. Meanwhile, policymakers are weighing how much the government should help the millions of remaining distressed homeowners and how to reform mortgage financing to avoid another housing debacle.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 23, 2022  Homelessness Crisis
Apr. 02, 2021  Evictions and COVID-19
Mar. 02, 2018  Affordable Housing Shortage
Nov. 06, 2015  Housing Discrimination
Feb. 20, 2015  Gentrification
Apr. 05, 2013  Homeless Students
Dec. 14, 2012  Future of Homeownership
Dec. 18, 2009  Housing the Homeless
Nov. 02, 2007  Mortgage Crisis Updated
Feb. 09, 2001  Affordable Housing
Jan. 06, 1989  Affordable Housing: Is There Enough?
Oct. 30, 1981  Creative Home Financing
Nov. 07, 1980  Housing the Poor
Dec. 21, 1979  Rental Housing Shortage
Nov. 24, 1978  Housing Restoration and Displacement
Apr. 22, 1977  Housing Outlook
Sep. 26, 1973  Housing Credit Crunch
Aug. 06, 1969  Communal Living
Jul. 09, 1969  Private Housing Squeeze
Mar. 04, 1966  Housing for the Poor
Apr. 10, 1963  Changing Housing Climate
Sep. 26, 1956  Prefabricated Housing
Sep. 02, 1949  Cooperative Housing
May 14, 1947  Liquidation of Rent Controls
Dec. 17, 1946  National Housing Emergency, 1946-1947
Mar. 05, 1946  New Types of Housing
Oct. 08, 1941  Rent Control
Aug. 02, 1938  The Future of Home Ownership
Sep. 05, 1934  Building Costs and Home Renovation
Nov. 20, 1933  Federal Home Loans and Housing
Nov. 17, 1931  Housing and Home Ownership
Mortgage Loans and Home Finance