Homeownership Policy at a Critical Juncture: Are Policymakers Overreacting to the Great Recession?

Brief

Homeownership Policy at a Critical Juncture: Are Policymakers Overreacting to the Great Recession?

Abstract

Is supporting homeownership still viable policy for low- and moderate-income families? Although middle-aged families are less likely to own homes than a decade ago and many recent purchasers are underwater, homeownership is still the primary saving vehicle for low- and moderate-income families, and longer-term homeowners generally managed to achieve net saving or gains despite the losses of the Great Recession. Nearly 90 percent of families that owned homes as of 1999 were still homeowners in 2011, and market conditions are increasingly favorable for homeownership. This suggests that losses incurred during the recent bust mask emerging opportunities and sensible housing policies.

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