Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ownership Generation

What was the impact of the housing bubble on the American psyche?  Is the American dream of homeownership no longer held in high regard?  Are millennials less likely to want to own a home when they saw their parents lose their home to foreclosure?

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many experts believe that young people will be more likely to grow up to be renters rather than homeowners.  There are advantages to renting:  mobility; low maintenance; and less responsibility.  All of those are aspects are associated with the characteristics of young people which is why there might be a belief that young people will grow up to be renters.

So will more young people grow up to be renters?  The key is that eventually young people do “grow up,” and when they do their lives change.  They get married, have children, and then they want some stability.  Their kids enroll in school and suddenly they are less mobile and take on more responsibility.  The characteristics of the millennial generation that experts say will result in more renters are really just characteristics of young people.  While the stability that parents seek for their families is less secure if they don’t own the home they live in. 

The recession was a major setback for many people.  It did in fact reduce the rate of homeownership in America.  But it is this author’s belief that most Americans still want to own a home, and when they are in a financial position to own a home they will do so.

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