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Updating the American dream

Posting in Cities

For decades, the notion of the 'American dream' involved buying a house. But for a majority of Americans, according to a new survey from the MacArthur Foundation, renting a home can get you that dream just as well.

While a majority of Americans still aspire to own their own home someday, more than half (57 percent) said that "buying has become less appealing", while 54 percent said "renting has become more appealing." Perhaps more striking is the fact that nearly half (45 percent) of current homeowners said they could see themselves renting in the future.

An uncertain job market may make renting seem like a more appealing option, allowing people to move more easily for job opportunities in different markets. Three-fourths of respondents said "moving to a new city or state for a job is more likely now than it was in the past."

Richard Florida, of Atlantic Cities, argues that this shift away from a focus on home ownership may be a good thing for local economies. He argues that cities with lower levels of home ownership tend to have "healthier economies, higher rates of innovation, and higher incomes. The higher level of rental housing in these metros contributes to their flexibility and economic dynamism."

So maybe the American dream was in need of an update.

Photo: BrendelSignature

via [Atlantic Cities]

— By on April 29, 2013, 9:39 PM PST

Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure