There’s some home ownership data posted at EconLog by Bryan Caplan. From 1991 to 2004, home ownership rose from 64% to 69%, a pretty big increase considering that home ownership was “stable” between 1980 and 1991.
There is no doubt that this increased demand for home ownership has contributed to the rising prices.
Does everyone in America really need to live in their own home? Many would be better off living in an apartment. Homes incur significant transactions costs when one moves. Homes also require more time commitment from the owner. In our increasingly mobile society in which white collar employees are putting in more hours not less, one would think that home ownership would be falling, not rising.
Of course people who owned homes during the last few years are a lot better off financially because of it; but that’s a lucky historical anomaly that may end in tears for the last owners to jump on the bandwagon.
Bryan seems to imply that the government shouldn’t be subsidizing home ownership via the tax code. If that’s what he means, then I agree with him.