The dream of home ownership is slipping away for many Americans with high mortgage rates, rising prices, and stagnant income. To make matters worse, venture capital firms and hedge funds are buying up single-family homes by the millions. As home ownership costs rise beyond reach, rents follow them into the stratosphere.
Consider these statistics:
- American homeownership is declining at the highest rate since the great depression.
- We lost more than 1 million homeowners in 2021 – more than in the housing crash of 2008 – and then another million in 2022.
- The median home price has risen from $250,000 in 2019 to $400,000 in 2023.
- Mortgage interest rates have more than doubled since President Biden took office.
- This rise in interest rates combined with skyrocketing housing prices has pushed the average monthly payment for someone buying a home from $1,050 in 2019 to over $2,600 per month.
- At the same time, take-home pay after inflation and taxes has fallen by 9%.
- At the current pace, by 2030 60% of single-family homes will be owned by corporations.
What this means is that home ownership is now out of reach for all but the top income bracket. Younger Americans in particular barely dream of ever owning a home. They face a future at the mercy of faceless corporate landlords who will raise rent to the highest level the market will bear.
None of this is inevitable, though. As President, RFK Jr. will enact a series of policies to put home ownership back within the reach of working families. Here’s how.
- Tax-free 3% government-backed mortgage bonds, to bring the mortgage interest rate back to 2019 levels and even lower. It’s like having a rich uncle – Uncle Sam – who is willing to cosign your mortgage. Because the financing will come from investors, the cost to taxpayers will be minimal. This measure alone will reduce monthly costs for the average home purchase by $1000.
- Bring derelict land and buildings back on line. Many cities have thousands of vacant lots and buildings that have been seized for tax arrears or other reasons. The Kennedy administration will incentivize local governments to bring city-owned land and buildings back onto the market.
- Zoning changes. We will encourage municipalities to change zoning laws to allow ancillary dwelling units (granny flats) on more properties, to make housing available, bring families together, and provide homeowners with rental income. More supply means lower prices.
- Tax code changes. Small changes to the tax code can make corporate investments in single-family homes uneconomic. For example, we can change business depreciation rules and reform the “enterprise zones” that have contributed so much to gentrification.
Together, these changes will restore home ownership to tens of millions of Americans, and lower costs for tens of millions more. We will get large corporations out of the single family home business.