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The rise in homeownership


  • Mark Doms
  • Meryl Motika


After decades of relative stability, the rate of U.S. homeownership began to surge in the mid-1990s, rising from 64% in 1994 to a peak of 69% in 2004, near which it has hovered ever since; this translates into 12 million more homeowners over the period. Understanding the forces behind such trends in homeownership is important not only because supporting homeownership has been an unequivocal public policy goal for decades but also because homes are an important part of people’s net worth and, therefore, can affect their spending, working, and saving decisions. ; In this Economic Letter, we examine several potential reasons for this surge in the homeownership rate. We find that, while demographic changes have some role to play, it is likely that much of the increase is due to innovations in the mortgage finance industry that may have helped a large number of households buy homes more easily than they could have a decade ago.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Doms & Meryl Motika, 2006. "The rise in homeownership," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue nov3.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:y:2006:i:nov3:n:2006-30

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    1. Mark Doms & Meryl Motika, 2006. "Property debt burdens," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jul28.
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    Cited by:

    1. International Monetary Fund, 2007. "United States; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 07/265, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Paul S. Mills & John Kiff, 2007. "Money for Nothing and Checks for Free; Recent Developments in U.S. Subprime Mortgage Markets," IMF Working Papers 07/188, International Monetary Fund.

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    Home ownership ; Mortgages;


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