Homeownership has critical social, economic benefits

Kristi Bailey 2020 NETAR President

In 1995 National Homeownership Week began as a strategy of President Bill Clinton’s administration to increase homeownership across the nation. In 2002, President George W. Bush expanded the observance to the entire month of June. That commitment continues, and in 2021 the significance has intensified. 

For some, today’s real estate market is a challenge to homeownership. We’re in a market that tests renters who had hoped to become first-time buyers with rising prices and a serious lack of homes on the market. And some argue that we’re in a housing bubble and warn that it’s time to hunker down a prepare for a crash. Cooler heads counsel that there will be a market correction, but not a crash. Yet, amid these contradictions, there is a point of consensus. Most agree that owning a home is one of the best vehicles for sustaining a community and a proven way for individuals and families to build wealth.  


A couple of years ago, a research economist at the NAR wrote a white paper that sheds some light on the often-overlooked facets of homeownership. It pointed out that in addition to tangible economic benefits, research has shown that homeownership brings substantial social benefits for families, communities, and the country as a whole. These societal benefits are just as much of the motivation for policymakers to promote homeownership as the economic advantages. Simply put, homeownership provides much of the societal glue for healthier communities on both the financial and social sides of the ledger.  

Here are the often overlooked but documented social benefits of homeownership: 

– Increased charitable activity. 

– Civic participation in both local community and national issues (including voting). 

– Greater awareness of the political process. 

– Higher incidence of membership in voluntary organizations and church attendance. 

– Greater attachment to the neighborhood and neighbors. 

– Lower teen pregnancy by children living in owned homes. 

– Higher student test scores by children living in owned homes. 

– Higher rate of high school graduation, thereby higher earnings. 

– Homeowners take on a greater responsibility such as home maintenance and acquiring the financial skills to handle mortgage payments, and those skills transfer to their children. 

– Lower teenage delinquencies. 

– Homeowners reported higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, happiness, and higher perceived control over their lives. 

– Solid wealth gains for homeowners under normal housing market conditions. 

– Homeowners not only experience a significant increase in housing satisfaction but also obtain a higher satisfaction even in the same home in which they resided as renters. 

– Homeowners better maintain their homes, and high-quality structures also raise mental health -renter-occupied housing appreciates less than owner-occupied housing. 

– Housing prices are higher in high-ownership neighborhoods. 

– Maintenance behavior of individual homeowners is influenced by those of their neighbors. 

You can further explore the aspects of homeownership at these two websites produced by NAR to highlight and add community focus. Home Ownership Matters ttps://homeownershipmatters.realtor/ and HouseLogic https://www.houselogic.com/ 

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee – Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,400 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Pending sales, Trends Reports, and the regional market analytics can be found on the NETAR websites at https://netar.us/voice-real-estate-northeast-tennessee. 

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at https://netar.us