June 16, 2011
A Mortgage For Every Family?
The ideal of owning one's own home, be it log cabin or row house, is that of a static society. The rose garden and cabbage and poison ivy patch are nostalgia for a rural past. The average individual changes residence 12 times in a lifetime, 9 after age 18. Housing needs change over a life cycle from baby crib to nursing home; so does ability to afford housing. How attached should one be to one's current residence? Rent or tent out until settled. The concentration of population in large cities and reduced number of people per household mean that a growing share live in apartments in multi-unity buildings, condominiums, and cooperatives. Ownership means less, and has fewer rights, in such units than in single family detached housing. Two thirds of households owned their home at the beginning of the housing crisis. This was too high an ownership rate, as the crisis revealed. It is likely to remain too high for the foreseeable...(Read Full Article)