MarketWatch: Missing millennial homeownership endangers the American Dream

MarketWatch, July 12, 2018: Missing millennial homeownership endangers the American Dream

No avocado toast jokes here.

Yes, a lot has been written already about the question of millennials and homeownership. But as a new report demonstrates, the stakes are high enough that when an entire generation takes a step backward in accessing ownership, it’s worth a little extra attention.

The report, out Wednesday from the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center, suggests that the story of millennials and homeownership is in many ways a story of inequality in America — and one that might be getting worse.

“Homeownership has historically been the best way to build wealth,” Laurie Goodman, the vice president of the Urban Institute center, told MarketWatch. “You look at the average wealth of homeowners – they’re more affluent to begin with, but homeownership for most Americans is the way to build wealth.”

Wealth matters in ways that earning power— jobs and wages — does not. If this path forward is cut off, it will reshape the American economy. And it may make many younger people feel they have it worse than their parents, in a cruel distortion of the American Dream.

The charts below show how closely homeownership and wealth are correlated, and why it’s so important to keep ownership as accessible as possible.

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