Recent research offered by the National Association of REALTORS® articulates the benefits of homeownership that extend beyond economic impact. While it's complicated to calculate the impact of quality housing, it's easy to see that stable housing and homeownership opportunity add meaningfully to personal comforts, educational attainment, health factors, and community sustainability.
Aside from the wealth-building potential of owning a home, there is a significant correlation with higher levels of happiness, satisfaction, and pride. Historically, being vested in the community as a homeowner has promoted civic engagement that ultimately strengthens the surrounding neighborhood and shared lifestyle of the community. During the pandemic era, those effects are even stronger since residents are more tied to their home address than ever before. Working and learning from a home environment have renewed the emphasis on at-home comforts and highlighted the long term impacts of disparity for families who are cost-burdened.
As for the financial benefits, the impact is clear. Homeownership is a major driver of net worth - the median net worth of homeowners is more than 40 times greater than that of renters. That's 40 times more power to invest in personal opportunity and generational mobility. It's time to do more than talk about the statistics. We can address homeownership disparity by creating a greater supply of affordable homes that are available for sale specifically to low-income buyers. Spreading the opportunity of homeownership means spreading the wealth - literally and figuratively - and building a better future for all.