Low mortgage rates should have, in theory, influenced Americans to buy homes. Instead, it has been decades since homeownership has been as low as it is now. Rising home prices and tight inventories have kept potential buyers out of the game.
U.S. News reporter Andrew Soergel discussed housing market trends with Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at the real estate site Trulia. McLaughlin spoke about rising incomes, mortgage rates, housing inventory, and affordability and the gap between the haves and have-nots.
For example, the median homeowner in San Francisco over the last 30 years earned about $900,000 just from buying a home. Contrast that with the median homeowner in a place like Fort Worth. They only gained about $50,000 in nominal value. As housing wealth is passed on to generations, that potentially would be a cause for widening wealth inequality across the U.S. in the long run. We see some income convergence over the last couple of years, but that's a small blip if you look at the bigger picture.