HousingWire – Brena Swanson
Despite the housing recovery continuing to gain momentum, millions of homeowners are still underwater on their mortgages or owe more money than their homes are worth, according to a report released today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. And while housing continues to mend, homeownership rates continue to slide. "Even as historically low interest rates have helped make the monthly cost of owning a home more favorable than any time in the past 40 years, the national homeownership rate fell for the eighth straight year in 2012," said Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. "Homeownership rate has declined from 69% to 65%. We expect it will level out between 64% and 65% over the next few years," said Mike Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association.