Is Home Ownership still part of the American Dream?

Some say the notion of home ownership as part of the American Dream is antiquated. Some millennials say they'll never buy a house because they like the freedom to move around.

Dr. Ted Jones is chief economist for Houston's Stewart Title Guaranty Company. He says millennials here are still buying houses.

"In one of the surveys that was completed recently the millennials that are currently renting -- that plan to buy a home -- is almost identical to our current home ownership rate, in fact it's a little ahead."

But Rutgers Professor Eugene White says it all depends on how you define the American Dream.

"I would say the American Dream really should be about upward mobility. Owning a home is part of that upward mobility but owning a home isn't right for every person."

Many millennials say college loan debt is keeping them from buying a house. Dr. Jones says your college debt should be no more than your first year's salary.

"I just call 'em stupid. They just have too much college debt and given their majors and what have you they'll probably never have the ability to pay it off."

Professor White says the dream isn't dead.

"If you look at home ownership in the U.S. compared with other advanced countries you'll find there's actually a higher rate of home ownership even with similar incomes; for instance if we compare to Germany."

One survey found 80% of millennial renters do intend to buy a house someday.

 

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