Tuesday, October 25 , 2016, 6:12 am | Fair 51º


Ed Fuller: U.S. Home Ownership Aspirations Alive, Well

Recently, Jeffrey Gundlach who runs DoubleLine Capital and its $32 billion fund investing in mortgage-backed securities, made the incongruous comment that housing ownership is overrated and that people's preference, especially the young, is to rent.

Ed Fuller
Ed Fuller

Other prognosticators have similarly lamented young people's apparent lack of interest in home ownership.

Sam Zell, chairman of landlord Equity Residential, the nation's largest apartment owner, predicts a continuing decline in the rate of homeownership. Richard Florida, writing for The Atlantic, predicts a coming crisis in available rental apartments.

Some say the young just aren’t into owning, with its responsibilities and lack of freedom to move. Others say heavy student loan debts, which have tripled in the last 10 years according to the New York Fed, are holding them back.

There is no question recent college graduates have been impacted by the most severe recession since the 1930s. But the future bodes well for those who have educated themselves.

In 2012, a record 33 percent of our population ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor's degree compared with 17 percent in 1971, and 63 percent had completed at least some college, according to the Pew Research Center. The value of that college degree is holding up well. The 2012 difference between it and a high school diploma in annual full-time employment was more than 50 percent at $17,500. While the younger Americans recover along with the rest of us, there ability to buy a home will also improve.

So, what do they want to do? According to a National Housing Survey recently conducted by FannieMae, 90 percent of renters ages 18 to 39 plan to buy a home at some point in the future. A survey by BMO Harris Bank found that of Millennials, ages 18 to 34, 74 percent plan to buy a house in the next five years and 32 percent say they plan to purchase in the next 12 months.

While the future is always uncertain, the stars are lining up for U.S. housing to be in demand for many more years.

Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at [email protected] or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >