Home ownership, long a central pillar of the American dream, seems increasingly unattainable for a growing numbers of households.
Yet old views die hard, and nine out of 10 Americans still consider homeownership "an important part of the American dream," according to a June poll by The New York Times/CBS News.
Indeed, there are signs of slight improvement in the housing market. In June, work started on 629,000 new houses, a five-month high that beat economists' expectations and saw an uptick in construction in every region in the country. But that doesn't necessarily indicate that the housing market is in recovery -- because, as real estate analyst Mike Larson recently told The Washington Post, "[people] who don't have jobs don't buy houses."