A Foolish Take: U.S. homeownership is at a multi-decade low

A Foolish Take: U.S. homeownership is at a multi-decade low

The housing bubble from late last decade really sapped the net worth out of middle-class households.

A Foolish Take: U.S. homeownership is at a multi-decade low

Data source: YCharts.com. Chart by author.

What caused the decline? According to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, it happened due to elevated foreclosure rates throughout the Great Recession, combined with weak income growth and delayed marriage and childbearing among younger households in the years since.

It remains to be seen whether this represents a permanent shift in Americans' perspectives on homeownership. But in the meantime, given the size and importance of the housing market, this goes a long way toward explaining the tepid recovery that's taken place following the most significant economic event to hit the United States since the Great Depression.

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