MLS & Associations

Why is this industry leader worried about the US homeownership rate?

Equity divide grows, cutting many out of the housing market, says CAR CEO Joel Singer
  • The homeownership rate has plunged nearly 10 percent since the recession.
  • Income disparity is causing the homeownership rate to decline.
  • The hardest-hit are minorities.
  • The desire to be a homeowner has not wavered, but economics are making it impossible for many.

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California Association of Realtors CEO Joel Singer explains the public policy and economics behind the declining homeownership rate -- and what, if anything, can be done about the downward-spiraling trend. Singer is also the CEO of zipLogix and was instrumental in developing CAR subsidiary Real Estate Business Services (REBS). He has a thirty-year history of challenging the industry to face its threats while working on practical solutions for keeping the agent at the center of the transaction. The homeownership peak was slightly over 69 percent in 2006 -- and since then, it's been on a decline. Is this a "hangover" from the subprime mortgage crisis -- and does the number even matter? Now, the homeownership rate is about 63 percent -- back at levels we haven't seen since the 1960s. "Generally, the homeownership rate is an indicator of relative wealth in your society," explained Singer. It's a way to accrue wealth and solidify a citizen's standing in the market. He also a...