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HOUSING MARKET HAS FALLEN … AND IT CAN’T GET UP

One of our favorite scenes from the 1988 Eddie Murphy/ John Landis comedy classic Coming To America involves “Stu” – a tenant at the ghetto-fabulous Queens apartment complex that serves as a backdrop for some of the movie’s side-splitting hilarity. Evidently quite delinquent in his rent payments, Stu attempts to evade this issue by falling down the stairs. Repeatedly.

His landlord’s reaction to this tactic is pure comedy gold, people … pure comedy gold.

We were reminded of Stu’s plight this week when we stumbled upon a post over at Zero Hedge addressing the current status of the American Dream – namely plunging homeownership rates and soaring rents (which when you stop and think about it is more like an American nightmare).

According to the latest data, America’s homeownership rate during the first quarter of 2014 stood at 64.8 percent – its lowest level in 19 years.

Wanna view that abysmal data in chart form? Of course not – it looks terrible. And is another reminder of life in the “New Normal.”

But it’s something our country needs to get a grip on sooner rather than later …

(Click to enlarge)

Homeonership Rate Q1 2014

(Chart via Zero Hedge)

Yikes …

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again … “the center cannot hold.” America’s middle class is getting gang raped by government-funded corporate cronyism, welfare statism and bureaucratic expansion – steadily eroding its ability to support the broader economy.

And not only are normal Americans increasingly unable to buy homes, they are increasingly tapped out when it comes to other purchases too.

Ready for more troubling news? The growing number of Americans who have been forced into the rental market are shelling out record prices – with most of that money going to government-backed Wall Street fat cats who snatched up properties with loans and liquidity made available by the Federal Reserve’s still-churning¬†printing presses.

“Americans have to live somewhere,” Zero Hedge notes. “That somewhere is as renters of Wall Street and other landlords. As the next chart shows, the median asking rent has soared to fresh records and hitting an all time high of $766 as of the first quarter.”

Wanna see what that looks like? Again, of course you don’t.

But …

(Click to enlarge)

rents

(Chart via Zero Hedge)

“Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave …”