Honors Theses

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Finance

First Advisor

Bonnie Van Ness

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This thesis investigates the mechanisms that have affected homeownership since World War II. Homeownership rates can reflect people's desire to own homes or not own homes. Therefore, studying the homeownership rates will give me a better opportunity to understand how the residential real estate market operates. Robert Shiller's Homeownership graph, the U.S. Census Bureau's Total Housing Inventory Table and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' graph of the homeownership rate drove my research. Dating back to World War II, wherever I observed a significant increase or decrease in homeownership, I wanted to explain what was driving the increase or decrease. In conclusion, I observed four factors that seemed to have the most significant effect on homeownership: economy, interest rates/mortgage dynamics, government efforts, and demographics. These factors did not always seem to act in expected manners, and the changing needs or desires of Americans seemed to influence homeownership the most.

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