Amid all the economic uncertainty over the credit crisis in Europe and slow job growth in the U.S., one sector may be looking up. The U.S. housing market is finally showing more signs of recovery, according to a report being released Thursday by Harvard University.
Harvard comes out with this study once a year, and this time around, it's painting a much brighter picture.
Neal Coleman and his wife, Rachel, are both in their mid-20s and attend graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. They say renting makes more sense for them and their young daughter until their family is a bit more settled.
Credit Courtesy of Neal Coleman
Kristi Taylor can pinpoint the precise moment she let go of the dream of homeownership. It was a few months ago, as she and her husband and infant son were driving through a neighborhood of homes near their apartment in Athens, Ga.
"As we were passing through, I realized that I don't really look at houses like I used to, when we would point out homes and say, 'That can be ours someday,' " says Taylor, who is 28. Now, she says, "the idea of homeownership is so vague, it doesn't even strike me as something that's in our future."
We're going to hear now about some surprising consequences of the weak housing market in this country. It turns out that the value - even on a paper - of a home can affect the college choices that a family makes.
NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to discuss social science research. He's here this morning to talk about those new findings. And good morning.
For generations, owning a home has been a key part of the lifestyle most Americans aspire to. But when the mortgage crisis exploded in 2007, it brought down the U.S. housing market — and the entire economy along with it.
The ensuing recession was an assault on the American dream of homeownership itself. The tidal wave of foreclosures, the crash in home prices and tighter lending standards have left some Americans unable or simply too nervous to buy a house.
Cathy Yamauchi has been waiting since Thanksgiving to hear from her mortgage lender regarding a short sale of her home in Ramsey, Minn. She is planning to move to a townhome, but is mostly living out of boxes while waiting on the short sale.
Banks are often accused of dragging their feet when a homeowner wants to sell for less than the balance on the mortgage. A lot of those "short sales" might be better dubbed "really long and drawn out" sales. New federal guidelines, though, could now push lenders to approve short sales faster.