The Corner

‘Fewer Households, More Overcrowding’

Economist Donald Marron makes that interesting remark on his blog this morning. In the last two years, as some people walked away from homes they couldn’t afford, some started to rent while others moved in with family and friends. Hence the title, “Fewer Households and More Overcrowding.”

He writes:

[M]any foreclosed homeowners do indeed become renters (some even become homeowners again). But I’ve always wondered how many former homeowners follow a different path and instead move in with their parents, friends, or roommates, rather than getting their own place to live. Similarly, I’ve wondered how many young adults have delayed starting their own households and instead have stayed at home longer.

On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association released a study by Gary Painter (sponsored by the Research Institute for Housing America) that examines this question. His answer? America lost 1.2 million households from 2005 to 2008, despite ongoing population increases. Oh, and we likely lost even more households in 2009.

And here are the numbers on overcrowding:


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