Is “the end of home ownership as a national ambition” upon us?

When we’ve focused on opportunity here, we’ve mostly focused on education and jobs. Homeownership hasn’t come up much. Yet.

There’s a very interesting conversation happening over at The Atlantic. Last week, in his post, The End of Ownership: Why Aren’t Young People Buying More Houses?, Derek Thompson pointed to this statistic from a recent Federal Reserve study

The rate of young people getting their first mortgage between 2009 and 2011 was chopped in half from just 10 years ago.

Here’s how he unpacks that news:

Before the Great Recession, we spread apart — out of cities and into the suburbs and single-family homes. After the Great Recession, we came together. A quarter of young adults have moved back in with their parents for a significant period of time. More have shacked up in apartments and tripled up on roommates to split the costs. In the last three years, mortgage interest rates have fallen tremendously, creating a good opportunity for people with means to get in on a house. But who’s got the means and opportunity? Unemployment for twenty-somethings is twice as high as the national average. Banks have tighter credit conditions on all but the highest-quality borrowers.

Better still is how Thompson’s readers unpacked the numbers by sharing their own stories, which were pulled up from the comments section into a separate post, 'We Wish Like Hell We Had Never Bought': Voices from the Housing Crisis. It’s an important read. Highly encouraged. (Posted by Jeff Severns Guntzel. 3.5.2012)

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