Our home is our (foreclosed, lower value) castle


New Census (officially dubbed American Community Survey) numbers show overall Minnesota home ownership rates remain among the highest in the country, nearly 75%.

But because of the recession – people losing their jobs, foreclosures – the rate is declining and is especially sharp for minorities.

The details paint a troubling picture.

Most of the revelatory details come from Minnesota Housing officials who track the home ownership picture.

The bad news: Home values are down. Lots of homeowners are underwater with mortgages that are bigger than the value of their homes. Add to that persistent unemployment which is causing more homeowners to fall into foreclosure.

The good news: Home values are down. Borrowing rates are low and likely to remain at record lows for some time.

Minnesota Housing commissioner Mary Tingerthall boils all the numbers down to one for people thinking of buying a home.

Given everything that’s happened, the average monthly payment for an average value house purchased now including principle, interest, taxes will be $900 a month less than the average monthly payment five years ago.

The worst of times. The best of times. Depending on your situation.