According to a recent Columbus Business First article citing a RentCafe analysis of census data, Columbus has about 462,144 renters vs 376,953 homeowners – a 15% drop in homeownership over the last decade.
I’m not surprised by this news – first, simply because taking a look around Columbus you see nothing but apartment construction cranes dominating the skyline as thousands of new apartments come online this year and simply not enough new home building happening in Central Ohio (especially for first time homebuyers).
Second though, contrary to the article mentioned, I do think that there has been a paradigm shift in attitudes toward homeownership over the last ten years. I think that the ideal of homeownership as part and parcel of the American Dream mythology has faded in importance. Some of this may have been due to the most recent recession, but as the world becomes more and more global and the idea of ‘home’ becomes, in my opinion, less fixed, people are more concerned about the idea of being tied down to a home and missing opportunities and experiences because of it.