This brief explores how self-employed households fared from 2001 – 2016 compared to salaried households in terms of income, mortgage use, and homeownership rates. Although self-employed households continue to earn higher incomes than salaried households, this brief shows that they were hit harder by the housing crisis and have been slower to recover. Part of this is because incomes for self-employed households are still below pre-crisis levels, while incomes for salaried households have largely recovered. But part of it reflects the reality that, at any income level, both mortgage use and the homeownership rate for self-employed households have declined more than they have for salaried households. This suggests that factors beyond income, such as tougher mortgage availability or requirements of appendix Q, are likely at play. This brief adds further support to the growing recognition that the mortgage market is not adequately meeting the lending needs of self-employed households.
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