Drop in homeownership is a return to housing sanity

05/13/2014 2:05 PM

05/13/2014 11:00 AM

Re "County homeownership at lowest level since the '70s" (Page A1, May 12): The alarmist tone set by the story on the decline of homeownership is off-base. The current 77 percent rate shown in the chart is in line with the stable level of ownership that has prevailed in Sacramento since 1970, except for the disastrous bubble period that peaked in 2007.

The drop in homeownership from a peak of 83 percent in 2007 indicates a return of economic sanity to the region. During the bubble, thousands of eager buyers took out huge mortgages to buy houses at ridiculous prices that couldn't be sustained. When the bubble broke, these fools and dupes of the mortgage industry paid the price.

The avalanche of foreclosures and spurt in absentee ownership in recent years are unfortunate byproducts of the reality that many people lack the income to own a home. Fairness for all can't be achieved through mortgage manipulation.

-- Paul Clegg, Sacramento

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