Dear NMHC Members,
I’ve heard from several of you about the New York Times’ recent editorial on wealth creation and home ownership, and many of you have urged NMHC to respond.
That was also my first inclination because I knew that, in a response, we could talk about how U.S. cities with the highest home ownership rates actually fared the worst during the recession, or highlight the wealth creation advantages that investors in stocks and bonds, for example, have enjoyed versus house appreciation for the past 50 years.
We know that renting provides opportunities for people to pursue economic opportunities no matter the location. We know that the demographics renting for quite some time. However, we also know that there’s an irrational exuberance towards homeownership that goes well beyond the actual positive reasons to own a house.
When an article like this comes out, our instinct is to immediately turn to the facts. Through our own research, we’ve found that facts simply do not matter when it comes to the emotional connection people have to home ownership - even those directly affected by the housing collapse. These beliefs are so strong that even the smallest whiff of anything negative about homeownership will cause otherwise intelligent, rational people to tune out.
Therefore, we think we better serve you and the industry by focusing our resources on continuing to take the long-term, strategic approach of highlighting the amazing contributions of apartments and our residents through our award-winning public relations campaign. By engaging in a constructive way, we can continue to move the needle.