We are nearing a decade since the housing crash occurred, homeowners began dealing with foreclosure in large numbers, and the recession began. Experts tell us that, as a nation, we are firmly within a period of economic recovery. Yet have Chicago residents truly gotten back to a way of living that many enjoyed prior to the housing crash? According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, there are far more renters in the U.S. than there are homeowners, suggesting that the recession may have had a more significant impact than some of us might have been led to believe.
Lingering Effects of the Foreclosure Epidemic
The recession, and the stark economic difficulties it brought, may not have faded as soundly as some have suggested. In particular, the after-effects of the foreclosure epidemic remain quite visible in the ratio of homeowners to renters across the country. Many of the current renters in the country dealt with their homes going into foreclosure. While they may have bounced back economically and gotten their personal finances under control, the history of foreclosure and economic setbacks may be what has left so many Americans as renters.
Before the housing crash, Americans tended to have a higher rate of homeownership than citizens of most other nations. However, as the article explains, a recent study conducted by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies explored “rental trends in the U.S., Canada, and Europe and reported that Americans are now average rather than remarkable.” To be sure, approximately one-third of all U.S. residents rent their apartments or houses, a number that places our country “right in the middle of households that rent throughout the nations studied.”
In addition to determining the sheer number of renters in the U.S. compared to those in other similar countries, the study also established that Americans actually are worse off in certain regards than other renters in Canada and Europe. As the article clarifies, “Americans are in worse shape than people in any other country when it comes to being able to afford the apartments and houses they rent.” In other words, it looks as though more Americans are putting themselves in danger of being unable to afford the payments that keep them in their rental homes.
“Unprecedented Surge” in Home Rentals Across the U.S.
The Harvard study got underway following news that there has been an “unprecedented surge in rental demand in the U.S.” over the last ten years. After the housing crash, the Chicago Tribune reports that eight million American homeowners lost their houses to foreclosure. As such, we should not be too surprised that the demand for rental units rose from about nine million to a whopping 43 million households. The article intimates that many of those new renters were forced into renting as a result of credit score declines due to foreclosure.
Homeownership in the U.S. is currently at its lowest rate since 1965. Currently, only about 62% of Americans are homeowners.
Contact a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer in Oak Park
While we discuss the declining number of homeowners, there are still residents of the Chicago area who are struggling to keep their homes. If you have questions about avoiding foreclosure, an experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney can help. Contact the Emerson Law Firm today for more information.
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