FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
More than two-thirds of Americans say they have achieved the American Dream or will do so at some point in their lifetime according to the Pew Economic Mobility Project. But a new report out today says one crucial part of the American dream is no longer a reality for many Americans: Owning a home.
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The rate of home ownership in this country is now back to the level it was in 1998. Forget the housing boom-it's like it never happened. And some economists and industry experts say the home ownership rate could drop even further to the levels of the 1980s or earlier.
Last year, 66.4% of Americans owned a home, down from a peak of about 69% in 2004. Housing prices fell in March to their lowest level since the so-called Great Recession began. This is all according to the Standard and Poor's Case Shiller Home Price Index, considered one of the best indicators of the housing situation in the country.
According to a survey from real estate websites Trulia and RealtyTrac, 54% of Americans said they thought the real estate market would recover in 2014 or later. That's up from about one-third who gave the same answer when the same poll was given last November.
The outlook is pretty bleak. Unemployment and bad credit are preventing many Americans from buying a home. Others are struggling to hold on to what they already own, either underwater in their homes– meaning the home is worth less than their mortgage - or facing foreclosure. And then there are those who have the money to buy a home but are choosing not to...often out of fear the worst is still to come.
Here’s my question to you: Home ownership levels are on the decline. What does that say about the American dream?