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Slide in home ownership threatens the American Dream (general)

by AC @, Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 21:09

Slide in home ownership threatens the American Dream
Rick Hampson, USA TODAY November 24, 2015

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A decade ago, when 5,000 settlers a month were arriving in this valley, the suburban frontier moved out into the desert so fast the zip codes couldn't keep up.

Then came the financial crisis, and the frontier stopped at places like the back fence of 4132 Recktenwall Ave.

The four-bedroom house there, meant to be owned by its residents, is today a rental. And the Severance family, meant to be owners, are its $1,365-a-month renters.

It's all part of a national shift away from home ownership and toward renting.

The U.S. home ownership rate peaked 10 years ago. Since then it has dropped from over 69% to under 64%, where it was a half century ago, with each percentage point representing more than a million households.

An Urban Institute study this year predicted that in 15 years the home-owning rate will sink to 61%. Baby Boomers — far more apt to own than members of succeeding generations — will move or die. And Millennials, now 18 to 34, will be slow to own, either because they can't afford to or don't want to.

The shift to rental in single-family homes is visible on streets like Recktenwall. Between 2005 and 2009, about 80% of such houses in greater Las Vegas were owner-occupied; by 2013, that had dropped to 71%, a 12,000-unit shift.


home ownership threatens the American Dream

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