It's no coincidence that Homeownership Month falls in June.
What better time could there be to celebrate the many benefits of homeownership than during the peak of the spring buying season as first-time buyers explore the market and owners of existing homes investigate their options for trading up to new construction?
As home builders, we know how owning a house elevates families, communities, and the nation. To help members and HBAs promote homeownership, the NAHB has posted a kit at NAHB.org/homeownershipmonth (membership required). It includes myriad resources that focus on the benefits that homeownership provides to both families and their communities.
Owning a home provides families with a sense of security and well-being. It also can help create wealth and provide financial security. For many, owning a home is a cherished dream—one they will work hard to fulfill. When they do purchase a house, these families often are committed to improving their neighborhoods and the community.
Homeownership also boosts the local and national economy by creating jobs and generating revenues for government. Construction of 100 new homes creates almost 300 jobs, generates $28 million in wage and business income, and produces $11.1 million in revenue for state, local and federal governments.
Conditions have improved for prospective homeowners since the depths of the market downturn, but even though the housing market continues to recover, there are still obstacles that can make homeownership inaccessible for deserving Americans.
One pressing issue is tight mortgage lending conditions that are preventing many creditworthy families from purchasing a home. A lingering side-effect of the Great Recession, overly stringent underwriting criteria are responsible for denying many households, especially first-time home buyers, the opportunity to purchase a home. While standards to ensure sound lending practices are essential, responsible consumers should not be unfairly excluded from the market.
Tight credit is one of the most visible indicators of a serious underlying issue that affects the entire housing market: the need for a major overhaul of the nation's housing finance system. For years, NAHB has been pressing Congress and regulators to address this important concern, and we will continue to push for reform as long as necessary.
Another concern is overregulation. Many environmental, land use, worker safety, and building code regulations can add significantly to the cost of developing a house while providing negligible benefits. Those costs are almost inevitably passed along to buyers.
While NAHB understands the importance of regulations, we want these measures to be sensible and cost-effective. Overly burdensome rules merely increase housing costs, squeezing more families out of the market. As such, NAHB works with all levels of government to fight off unnecessary regulations and keep housing affordable.
June is National Homeownership Month, but in reality, homeownership is an ideal worth celebrating every day.