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Young Homeowners

Home prices are down. Mortgage rates, rock bottom. If you’re young in America, does it, will it, make sense to buy a home?

In this Sept. 19, 2011 file photo, a house with a "for sale" sign in front is seen in Newton, Mass. Home ownership over the past decade posted the biggest drop since the Great Depression as layoffs, foreclosures and the mortgage mess made it harder for people to buy or hold onto their homes. (AP)

In this Sept. 19, 2011 file photo, a house with a "for sale" sign in front is seen in Newton, Mass. Home ownership over the past decade posted the biggest drop since the Great Depression as layoffs, foreclosures and the mortgage mess made it harder for people to buy or hold onto their homes. (AP)

It’s 2012, you’re a young American, and the U.S. housing market and mortgage rates are beaten down as low as we’ve ever seen.  Is it time to buy a house?  For twenty-somethings or young thirties with college debt and no job and living in mom’s basement, that may be the cue to start laughing.

But hard times don’t last forever, do they?  Mortgage rates in the three percents.  Rock bottom.  Foreclosed houses going for a song.  Rents, as the man says, “too damn high.”  Is it time to do it?  Somehow?  Somewhere?

This hour, On Point:  If you’re young in America, is it time to buy a home?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Karl Case, professor of Economics Emeritus at Wellesley College and Senior Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. He is co-creator of the Case-Schiller index, which tracks housing prices.

Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic; oversees business coverage for their website.

Matt Yglesias, Slate’s business and economics correspondent. He’s also the author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic “Richer couples! Cheaper mortgages! Millions of unwanted houses! Despite all this, young home owners declined for 30 years, even before the Great Recession. Here’s how the American Dream shrank.”

The New York Times “Like many young married people, Steve and Logan Kinney dream of owning a home. So after several years of diligent saving, the couple, both teachers, scoured the listings in Boerum Hill, the leafy Brooklyn neighborhood where they rented.”

U.S. News & World Report “Young Americans, take heart; there is empirical evidence that your parents’ “When I was your age…” diatribes are currently meaningless.”

Playlist

Low on Cash by Eric Lindell

The House that Built Me by Miranda Lambert

Young Americans by David Bowie

 

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