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I see a major shift in the real estate market as we become even more of a renter nation. Why is it happening? Is there a silver lining to this economic cloud?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, American homeownership plunged again in 2017 to its lowest rate since 1965. After the peak of 2004, when around 70% owned their homes, now just 62.9% own versus rent. It’s a throwback of almost a century—and the lowest on record, according to Census and Federal Reserve data. Why is that happening? Why is this trend only likely to continue gaining steam? Should we be buying homes or renting instead?

Related: It Gets Stranger: How Trump’s Tax Plan Impacts Homeowners & Real Estate Investors

Affordability

According to a Senior Economist at Wells Fargo Securities, one of the biggest challenges right now is affordability. House prices are rising far faster than incomes. Access to credit just isn’t there like it used to be for regular home buyers. High rents aren’t helping either. Even renters who want to buy can’t get home loans, can’t save enough for down payments, and are finding it harder and harder to make the leap.

Economic Uncertainty

If there is one certainty about the economy right now, it is uncertainty. There is political and global uncertainty, uncertainty as to when tech and the stock market will crash, and uncertainty surrounding when many jobs will be replaced by new technology. As many as 80% of human jobs could be made redundant in the next few years.

As habits change, big box…