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Renting the American Dream
Richard Florida / The Atlantic / April 23, 2013
Home ownership is a well-entrenched component of the American dream. But, that may well be changing, according to a major survey released earlier this month from the MacArthur Foundation.
For a majority of Americans today, renting is a viable path to achieving their version of the American dream, the study finds.
The report [PDF], entitled How Housing Matters: Americans’ Attitudes Transformed By The Housing Crisis & Changing Lifestyles, was carried out for the foundation by Hart Research Associates. It is based on telephone interviews with 1,433 adults conducted between February 27 and March 10 of this year as well as focus groups conducted in various cities.
Overall, a majority of Americans, including seven in 10 renters, say they aspire to own their own home someday. But more than half (57 percent) believe that “buying has become less appealing,” while 54 percent believe that “renting has become more appealing.” Almost half of current home owners (45 percent) can see themselves renting at some point in the future. And, the rate increases alongside income and education, with 48 percent of college-educated home owners, 53 percent of home owners with a post-graduate education, and 51 percent of home owners with household incomes greater than $75,000 saying they would consider renting.