Once upon a time, no sensible, successful individual or family would own a home when it was possible to rent. After all, who needs to worry about leaky faucets and repainting dingy rooms when a specialist class of managers — landlords — can take the matter in hand? Reinforcing the disinterest in home ownership were a set of economic and political factors that did not begin to change until the 1930’s, when the proportion of homeowners hovered just under 50% in the United States and at 39% in England and Wales.
Even as governments in the US and the UK began building public housing, legislation was introduced to help some people to climb onto the now famous ‘housing ownership ladder.’ By the latter half of the 20th century, with ‘national dreams’ updated to focus on home ownership, everything had changed and the rate of home ownership rose to almost two thirds of all households in both countries.
Today, it’s anyone’s guess whether current trends by wealthier citizens to rent in an urban core will weather the density-focused concerns of COVID-19.
One enduring benefit of home ownership has, however, been made evident by the sudden loss of employment triggered by COVID-19. For those looking for at least temporary release from the cost of renting or owning and paying a mortgage, home ownership wins hands-down.
Read more in The Guardian: Mortgage holidays are a breeze, but try taking a rent break
For a more detailed look at the results of the survey that inform the Guardian’s article, see at the Resolution Foundation: Coping With Housing Costs During The Coronavirus Crisis