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The decline of US homeownership

Charlie Gardner (aka the Old Urbanist) recently published an interesting pair of posts (here and here) about the decline of homeownership in the United States.

What really stood out for me, though, was this chart (showing the percentage of household real estate equity):

And this conclusion:

“The implied conclusion here, that a dramatic expansion of debt has been necessary just to maintain the illusion of a stable homeownership rate (setting aside the explosion of debt in the 2000s necessary to support an increase in homeownership), puts an even more negative spin on the figures from the preceding post.  In short, a decline in homeownership has until the past few years been masked by shifting demographics and an increase in household debt.”

What I would now be curious to see is the above chart in terms of household equity value. Because I wonder to what extent rapidly appreciating home prices (as a result of cheap credit) are having an offsetting affect on declining equity percentages.

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