NAHB says Home Ownership Lowest in 15 years

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released a study which can be found here regarding home ownership rates.  I think it’s interesting that the start of the housing bubble began roughly in 1999 when the U.S. government pressured banks and mortgage companies to allow more less-able borrowers purchase property, sometimes with idiotic products like no-doc (no documentation) or low-doc (low documentation) loans where income wasn’t verified, etc. etc.  When people who either couldn’t afford to own and maintain a home or weren’t ready from a maturity level to own a home stepped into the ranks of home ownership, the numbers swelled in the mid-2000’s.  In my opinion, a lot of these folks were really never home owners.  That’s no slight on them as people, nor does it mean that they can’t again join the ranks and hold onto their property for a long time.  It simply means that – at the time – they were offered something that was false in it’s support by the government, in it’s promise from politicians, and in it’s accounting as to the costs both short and long-term.

So, I don’t personally think that the above article is negative.  I think it means that we are started down a path that will probably dip further, and it should.  If the political and regulatory climate is allowed to run it’s course, without lots of ill-thought regulations and policies, perhaps we can return to the steady growth we saw from the mid 1940’s to the late 1990’s.  In 5 years, it will be interesting to revisit the whole issue and see what has transpired.