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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 22, 1996


Owning a home is central to the American dream. So it is good news for all our families that today's report shows that homeownership rates are at a 15-year high.

Strong job growth, low interest rates, and rising incomes have made this expansion in homeownership possible. With the lowest combined unemployment, inflation and mortgage rates in 28 years, 4.5 million more American families over the past four years have been able to realize their dreams and buy a home. In fact, this has been the longest, steadiest expansion of homeownership in three decades.

My administration has worked hard to help more Americans own their own home. By cutting the deficit 60 percent, we helped drive interest rates down. We have cut FHA closing costs for first-time homebuyers, and cut the time for an FHA loan approval from two months to two days. And Secretary Cisneros' "National Partners in Homeownership" initiative has helped broaden and deepen the ranks of homeownership.

Now we must do more to help hardworking American families to buy their own home. My balanced budget plan would keep interest rates from rising. It would allow families to save tax-free in an IRA for the purchase of a first home, and enable all Americans to sell their homes without paying any capital gains taxes.

I am determined to press forward with our economic strategy, so that our economy keeps growing and millions more families can join the ranks of homeowners. If we continue to offer opportunity for all who will work for it, we will build a strong American community for the 21st Century.

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