Can middle class home ownership survive?

Housing speculation is not a game for small real estate investors. Once large-scale real estate firms start buying up properties in your area, there is no way individual prospective homeowners or small landlords can outbid them for properties.

It’s not only speculators who are making it difficult for middle class people to keep roofs over their heads. The COVID-19 crisis has brought about a historic crash in mortgage rates — good news in the abstract, but richer buyers are jumping on those rates and bidding property prices into the stratosphere.

“Really low mortgage rates are providing an extra $100 to $300 of saved monthly housing costs for people who are able to buy a home right now or millions of homeowners who have been refinancing. But it’s no help to renters or people who were laid off and are now locked out of the mortgage market.”

Jeff Tucker, economist for Zillow, in The Washington Post, July 27, 2020

Meanwhile, homeowners and renters who have lost income during the pandemic are facing an equally historic wave of foreclosures and evictions. 

Does your home really matter?

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