As the foreclosure crisis continues to wreak havoc on the housing market, a source of national pride has taken a sour turn. Home ownership is on the decline and, according to a recent Morgan Stanley report, the United States is fast becoming a nation of renters.
Last Friday, the Census Bureau reported that the percentage of people who owned a home had dropped to 65.9% during the second quarter — its lowest level since the first quarter of 1998 and a far cry from the high of 69.2% reached in late 2004.
Yet, in a research paper issued a week earlier, Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) analysts Oliver Chang, Vishwanath Tirupattur and James Egan argued that the home ownership rate is even lower than the Census Bureau statistics say.
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Ken Johnson, a professor of real estate at Florida International University, who co-authored a recent paper with Eli Beracha of East Carolina University about how homebuying is now a better choice for most Americans, said he doubts that home ownership will fall much further below current levels.
Read: “Home ownership hits lowest level since 1965,“ an article by CNN Money.
Additional Media Coverage
- “Home ownership hits lowest level since 1965;“ August 11, 2011; Chicago Tribune