Many Americans are still suffering from the housing bust. A new report from the Urban Institute's Housing Finance Policy Center finds that currently about 19 million renters used to be homeowners at some point in the past 16 years. Bloomberg staffer Mark Whitehouse drills down into the report and explains what it means to the economy.
"People can become renters for various reasons, such as moving for a job or downsizing in retirement. The data, though, suggest that this group consists largely of people who lost their homes because of unaffordable loans, the housing bust and the subsequent economic slump. They are mostly middle-aged, unusually likely to have foreclosures or other black marks on their credit records, and are concentrated in bubble states such as Arizona, California and Florida.
For these housing refugees, homeownership remains mostly out of reach, leaving them vulnerable to rent increases that have accelerated since the economy hit bottom in mid-2009. As of 2015, some 45 percent had credit scores of 650 or less, below the threshold typically required to qualify for a mortgage. The only group with a worse credit profile is renters who have never had a mortgage -- but they tend to be much younger, so they’ve had less time to build their credit."