Homeownership is down, long live homeownership

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With the homeownership rate at an 18-year low, the Obama administration is looking for ways to get private capital back into the mortgage markets; federal regulators look like they are poised to loosen proposed risk-retention requirements for mortgage lenders; and lawmakers are drafting legislation that would overhaul the housing finance system by winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

All of this is happening without much debate about homeownership itself, and how much of it is a good thing, Bloomberg reports.

“We don’t have as much of a focus on the big picture,” Isaac Boltansky, an analyst with Compass Point Research & Trading LLC in Washington, told Bloomberg. “We don’t talk about whether we should be a homeownership society anymore. It’s not where the debate is. There’s a discussion about mechanism.” Source: bloomberg.com.