US home ownership drops to new lows

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US homeownership dropped 65 percent according to the US Census Bureau. This is after holding above 66 percent for the past three quarters. The last time the rate was this low, former President Bill Clinton was in office serving his second term. With homeownership now at 65% nationwide and home values increasing, the housing industry and consumer groups are pressuring lawmakers to make the American Dream more accessible to the masses. Advocates are pushing for new mortgage standards crafted to prevent another crash. Younger-aged groups fear the worst in the market downturn signaling that economic stability among those looking to achieve financial freedom have the biggest obstacles. Americans in the 35- to 44-year-old age group were hit hardest. Their homeownership rate dropped almost 9 percentage points to just over 61 percent. Only those 65 and older showed any signs of stability in homeownership rates throughout the market downturn. First-time buyers and minorities are among the groups that see the sharpest declines since the housing crash -- many times losing their homes to foreclosure while big banks reap the benefits by exploiting regulatory loopholes. Regulators could soon be proposing a weaker version of a rule that would put pressure on banks to keep more of a stake in risky mortgages they securitize. But Congress has yet to tackle this anomaly. Until that happens, those finding it tough to own a home will find themselves falling further behind.

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