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How 30-Year Mortgages Saved the Housing Market

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- In most of the world, homeownership isn’t seen as a natural step in the progress toward responsible adulthood. Outside the U.S., mortgages are for small amounts, for shorter times, and have adjustable interest rates. The popular U.S. 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate, which makes possible low monthly payments and a more certain future, is an oddity.

How did Americans develop such a peculiar financial practice? The New Deal.