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Culture » Take Me Home

Home Ownership is Important, but Still Elusive for Many

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There was an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal recently about the lopsided recovery of our national housing market—which is true for Bend as well. The statistics show that the housing market has rebounded substantially from the recent recession in terms of price appreciation, but that the middle class is very much struggling to afford home purchases.

Home ownership has long been a major source of middle class wealth. Being able to purchase a home means protection against rising rents as well as equity appreciation—a major source of wealth for the middle class. Many retirees obtain a nice nest egg from their home equity once they sell their homes and downsize, while others have equity to move up to the larger homes.

The major factors in the affordability crisis include housing prices that have far outpaced wage growth and the fact that there are more stringent loan requirements since the recent downturn. Many people who are renting today are paying more than they would with a mortgage, but cannot qualify for a loan because of damaged credit from the recent recession and those more stringent loan requirements.

The news does not appear very promising in terms of an improvement in the national and local homeownership rate. Some economists say our current situation of "lowest home ownership rate in half a century" might drop even further, while others are saying it will increase in the near future. Owning a home is one of the best ways for families to build wealth, but homeownership has been put out of reach for millions of families because wages have not kept up with the increased costs of homes, or they lost their previous homes to foreclosure in our recent economic meltdown. The bottom line is that given our current economic conditions, the problem is much bigger than the housing industry itself—and the solution will likely require collaboration from many parts of our local and national government.

Housing Round-up:

LOW

63425 Lynn Way, Bend, OR 97701 

3 beds, 2 baths, 1,242 square feet,

.46 acre lot | Built in 1982

$238,900

Listed by McShane Premier Properties

MID

2364 NE Moonlight Dr., Bend, OR 97701

4 beds, 2.5 baths, 1,776 square feet,

.22 acre lot | Built in 1998

$349,900

Listed by Bend River Realty

HIGH

3084 NW Underhill Pl., Bend, OR 97703

4 beds, 4.5 baths, 3,850 square feet,

.80 acre lot | Built in 2009

$969,000

Listed by Premiere Property Group

Photos and listing info from Central Oregon Multiple Listing Service

About The Author

Nick Nayne, Principal Broker

Principal Broker at The Broker Network Realty in Bend, OR. Over 12 years experience in Real Estate working with buyers, sellers and investment properties.

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