The article includes the following graph:
So let’s take a look at this from a broader perspective. Part of the decline is due to the housing bubble. However, we need to look at the impact of homeownership on our society and how the decline in homeownership will impact us in the future.
Homeowners are invested in their houses and in their neighborhoods. Generally speaking they take pride in both and will endeavor to keep both their homes and neighborhoods clean and crime-free. Under most circumstances, a home will increase in value, providing a basic investment for people who may not be able to invest in other assets. The increase in renters means an increase in landlords, people who own the rental property. It seems to me that the increase in landlords and renters is an indication that the middle class is being squeezed out economically. I understand that in many parts of the country housing is extremely expensive, but there are also areas of the country where jobs are available and housing is reasonably priced. I fear that the decrease in homeownership represents a moving away from the idea of owning something, taking care of something, and having an asset in the future. It may be a reflection of our instant gratification society rather than an economic indicator. It also may be a reflection of the American culture versus the culture of the large number of immigrants currently coming to America from different countries. Private property rights are one of the backbones of our freedoms–other countries may not have those rights. In order to keep our middle class strong economically and help keep our neighborhoods crime-free, we need to encourage all Americans, whether they were born here or just arrived from another country, to own homes and take care of them.