The Federal Reserve Board’s 1949 Survey of Consumer Finance shows: 20,000,000 nonfarm families own their own homes; the equity in these homes is $132 billion; the average equity value is $7,000; of these 20,000,000 homeowners, 55% have no mortgages; there are now more homeowners than renters; 6,000,000 have been added since the war.
This number should increase about a million a year if the government program does not further stifle individual initiative and opportunity for home ownership.
This unprecedented record is the result of the freedom of choice of the average American citizen. He likes his home. The policy of the Government in guaranteeing credit has helped in building that record. But the bulk of the credit goes to the community loaning agencies which through their work among their neighbors have made such a sound program possible. Today in spite of the fact that bank and insurance investors have entered the field of home financing, savings and loan associations constitute about one-third of the mortgage market. Mortgages today constitute about 80% of all such associations’ investments. Your business is as characteristically American as is the desire for home ownership. The two cannot be separated.