Do Urban Neighborhoods Need Homeowners?

Alan Mallach describes the decline of and need for homeownership in urban neighborhoods.

1 minute read

December 2, 2014, 6:00 AM PST

By Lisa Monetti


facades of victorian style residences in San Francisco

idleformat / flickr

At a conference I attended last week, one of the speakers, a colleague whose judgment and knowledge I respect, offered his take on the future of urban single family neighborhoods. The lower income families who have the credit and can get together the down payment to become homeowners are buying in the suburbs. People working in urban neighborhoods, he said, (more or less in these words), are going to have to “get over homeownership." Putting aside his conclusion for a moment, the underlying facts tend to bear him out.

While homeownership has declined all over the country since the end of the housing bubble, it has dropped much faster in urban areas, not only distressed Rustbelt cities, but Sunbelt cities as well. Let’s look at a few numbers...

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