Real Estate: Are There Limits To Housification?

We tried, we really tried.

Housification™ – the effort to continually raise homeownership levels – seems to have a natural limit within the US. The homeownership rate stood at 63.5 percent for the first quarter of 2016, the very same level we had 50 years ago.

Increasing levels of homeownership has been a national goal since British troops left the colonies and with some reason: Homeownership is seen as evidence of financial success, economic stability and enhanced social order. If you’re a politician and asked which is better, more homeownership or less, always go for more.

Housification at OurBroker.com

In 2004 homeownership hit 69.2 percent, the US record. Unfortunately, this is one of those records with an asterisk. Yes we hit a high number, but it was only temporary, a result created by selling toxic loans to the public. Within a few years we saw seven million foreclosures, the near bankruptcy of the entire country and financial after-effects which are still being felt – most foreclosures today actually stem from loans made prior to 2009.

“Americans lost so much in 2008 — jobs and homes, incomes and wealth — that the recession still dominates the public mood three elections later,” explains Bloomberg Markets.

When it comes to homeownership rates worldwide we ranked 39th in 2014. Leading the league were Romania (96.1 percent), Singapore (90.3 percent), Slovakia (90.3 percent), and Lithuania (89.9 percent).

If they can do it why can’t we?

Let’s imagine we were challenged by a modern John Kennedy. Speaking at Rice University in 1962 Kennedy said the nation should put someone on the moon in a decade. We did, and one result was the miniaturization of computers and thus the technological basis for the Internet era.

Housification™ As a Goal

Instead of a call to send someone to the moon our new national goal can be to raise the US homeownership rate to 80 percent. Millions of new jobs would quickly be created inside our borders. There would be millions of additional home sales and mortgage originations. A lot of people would have dollars to spend, something to spark the economy. And millions of additional households would live under a roof they actually owned.

We can do this, we should do this, because as John Kennedy told us, this “challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win….”

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