Homeownership Future

From Steve Lafluer on NewGeography over the weekend:

Like many 20-something young professionals, I have no aspirations towards home ownership. I ditched my car when I moved out of the suburbs, and I refuse to sign a lease that lasts more than three months. This affords me the flexibility that my life as a freelancer requires. If I were in a profession that didn’t call for a great deal of mobility, perhaps home ownership would be appealing. When North America was a manufacturing powerhouse, most people were in that situation. But an increasingly dynamic labor market requires an increasingly mobile workforce… to an extent.

For those of us in the 18-30 demographic who work in fairly mobile industries, home ownership isn’t necessarily as big a hindrance as Florida suggests. There are people like me who work in volatile industries and simply can’t be tied down to one city, but we’re in the minority. For the majority, it really depends on the location. If your home is within commuting range of a major city, it should be possible to find work in your field without uprooting.

But jobs come before home ownership in order of priority. In a scenario where state and local governments create a fiscal climate inhospitable to economic growth, rather than chase cheap housing, people migrate to the strongest economic region (for example, the Sunbelt).

There are a number of reasons why homeownership may not be the best economic decision in the 21st century. But even if it was, the federal government shouldn’t be promoting homeownership from a public policy perspective.

Here is the rest of Lafluer’s piece.

Here is my commentary from last week on ending subsidies for homeownership.