Home ownership rates hit all-time lows (except for two small demographics) - Why it's time for course correction:
Bottom Line: Despite the exceeding low mortgage rates for an exceedingly long period of time, home ownership rates have continued to fall to their lowest levels on record (studied since 1965 according to the US Census Bureau).
While there are several reasons for the decline (housing crisis, low savings rates, poor credit, later family formation for younger adults, etc.), they're not good ones and here's why...
According to Zillow our metro is the 2nd best is the country for buying vs. renting right now. We're continuing to see that it's cheaper for the average person to buy a new home and make a mortgage payment than it is to rent it out. What's more is that with mortgage products available that allow someone to buy for as little as 3% down - virtually anyone who has enough money for first, last and a security deposit has the money to put down on the home and buy instead. This increasingly looks like an education issue.
Just as stock ownership rates have continued to fall over the years (despite an average annual rate of return of 10% - which is more than twice the rate of the 2nd best performing asset class which happens to be real-estate), we've seen more of the same with real-estate post-crisis. The people being most hurt however are those who continue to rent.
The average American has 90%+ of their net worth tied up in home equity. If you don't have a home you'll likely only have 10% as much to your name. In this era of "income and wealth inequality", the single greatest issue isn't in the workplace. It's with an individual's decision making. If you choose to rent and not invest in stocks, you'll have over 90% less on average than someone else in your same shoes will over the long run. This goes into the bucket of only being able to help those who're willing to help themselves. But with the dearth of financial education out there - it's an uphill battle that news to be won.