Benefits of Homeownership

Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing

Real Estate is a more than a business, it's part of the social development and important aspect to a growing society.

Research has consistently shown the importance of the housing market on the economy and the long-term financial benefits to individual homeowners. The housing sector directly accounted for 16 percent of total economic activity in 2005. Household real estate holdings totaled $20.7 trillion in the third quarter of 2005. After subtracting for mortgage obligation, net real estate household equity totaled $10.9 trillion. The median net worth of a renter was $4,800 compared with $171,700 for homeowners in 2001.

In addition to tangible financial benefits, homeownership is said to bring substantial social benefits for families, communities, and the country as a whole.

During the war years President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said that a nation of homeowners is unconquerable. Margaret Thatcher, with a mantra that homeowners become responsible citizens, privatized and moved 1.7 million families from public housing into private ownership. President Bill Clinton has stated his belief that homeownership and decent housing are an essential part of the American Dream and wanted to make the dream of homeownership a reality for all Americans. President George W. Bush has said ownership has the power to transform people. Thus, the promotion of homeownership has been an integral part of President Bush’s vision of an “ownership society.” Even in the earliest days of civilization, before the collection and touting of statistical data, Aristotle had argued that ownership promotes virtue and responsibility.

This paper examines if and how homeownership brings about positive social outcomes. Furthermore, the paper examines not only the ownership of homes, but also the impact of stable housing (as opposed to transitory housing and homelessness) on social outcomes.

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