[Editor’s Note: I’m not sure on this one; perhaps…]
It is a truth universally acknowledged that an American in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a mortgage. I don’t know if you should buy a house. Nor am I inclined to give you personal financial advice. But I do think you should be wary of the mythos that accompanies the American institution of homeownership, and of a political environment that touts its advantages while ignoring its many drawbacks.
Renting is for the young or financially irresponsible—or so they say. Homeownership is a guarantee against a lost job, against rising rents, against a medical emergency. It is a promise to your children that you can pay for college or a wedding or that you can help them one day join you in the vaunted halls of the ownership society. In America, homeownership is not just owning a dwelling and the land it resides on; it is a piggy bank, where the bottom 50 percent of the country (by wealth distribution) stores most of its wealth. And it is not a natural market phenomenon. It is propped up by numerous government interventions, including the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. America has put a lot of weight on this one institution’s shoulders. Too much.
One of the worst labels that can be applied to an upwardly mobile urban dweller is that of gentrifier. The word implies a lot—for one, that culpability in the broad phenomenon of neighborhood change can be assigned to individuals.
But given that the insult is often slung back and forth among members of the same yuppie class living in the same formerly affordable neighborhoods, it sometimes serves less to suggest that one’s housing choices have led to displacement of minority or low-income residents, and more to insinuate that one is insufficiently progressive.
On Twitter recently, quips by a couple of large accounts about how San Francisco had been ruined by tech millionaires spiraled into a fight among people of various shades of political opinion, from “extremely left wing” all the way to “very liberal,” about the evils of gentrification.
Inevitably, it devolved into a familiar argument over who really gets to speak for low-income people of color.
Predictions on home prices, mortgage rates and more
By Alisa Wolfson, Updated: May 31, 2022 at 10:23 a.m. ET
Peak home-buying season is in full swing, and many aspiring buyers are wondering: What should I know about the housing market if I want to buy? After all, interest rates have been rising, with some pros saying that trend will continue (see the lowest mortgage rates you can qualify for here); home prices keep climbing; and there aren’t enough houses on the market to meet buyers’ demand.
So we asked Daryl Fairweather — Redfin’s chief economist, who also worked at the Boston Fed studying why homeowners enter foreclosure — to share her projections and thoughts for what buyers and sellers can expect in the coming months.
There are early signs that the market, in some places, is cooling a bitFairweather says we’re seeing early signs that the housing market is starting to cool, at least in pricey coastal metros. “Buyers in markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle who have lost out on several bidding wars may find they’re facing less competition from other buyers than they were a month or two ago,” says Fairweather.
Baby Boomers are the wealthiest generation of Americans alive today, and while some may no longer be active in the housing market, plenty are still looking to buy homes.
But where are Baby Boomers looking to buy? To answer this question, LendingTree analyzed mortgage purchase requests made in 2020 on the LendingTree platform across the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.
Las Vegas, Tampa and Phoenix are the metros where Baby Boomers make up the largest share of mortgage purchase requests. In Las Vegas, 19.97% of purchase requests came from Baby Boomers. In Tampa and Phoenix, the numbers are 17.33% and 16.36%, respectively.
The booming housing market has been a bright spot for a U.S. economy shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite mounting job losses and bankruptcies in industries battered by social distancing, home sales have been on fire across the U.S., with Americans racing to gobble up larger properties in the suburbs, with room for remote school and home offices.