The recession may be over, but the housing market and housing forecast pros still see the scars. Take the homeownership rate. In 2005, America's homeownership rate was 69.1%. Today, it's 63.7%, the lowest level the nation has seen since 1993.
The good news for sellers is that demand for housing is back, and prices are continuing to rise. But for buyers–especially first-time ones—inflating price tags are clearly not a positive. Add to rising prices the triple whammy of rapidly rising rents, sluggish wage growth, and high student debt loads, and buying into the American Dream is fairly tough for the younger and lower-earning end of the population. And that has a ripple effect.