Anticipated Increase in Homeownership Rate

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The rate of homeownership has progressively fallen since the Great Recession from 70 percent to an estimated 64 percent today. Housing industry experts say that new data indicates an approaching increase in the homeownership rate for the current year.

Real estate-focused website Trulia has evaluated the Census report and uncovered that owner households formed at two times the rate of renter households during the first quarter of this year. Per Trulia, this is an indicator that the largely anticipated millennial homeownership boom may be helping to push the homeownership rate up after 10 years of decline.

“Strong renter formation is one of the reasons why the homeownership rate has continued to drop since the onset of the housing crisis, so any sign this trend is reversing is something to take note of,” said Ralph McLaughline, Chief Economist for Trulia.

Industry experts have credited the inability of young renters to come up with the money for a down payment as a major obstacle in their entering the housing market. Seventy percent of the renters who recently participated in a survey conducted by Zillow said that saving up enough money for a down payment is a bigger obstacle than any concerns over debt from student loans or other debts.

Homeownership rates in the first quarter of this year were highest among homeowners aged 65 and older (78.6 percent), while the homeownership rates were the lowest for homeowners aged 35 and younger (34.3 percent).

Other Census report data relevant to this topic includes:

  • Homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7 percent for the first quarter of 2017, while the renter vacancy rate was 7 percent.
  • 3 percent of the United States’ housing was occupied in the first quarter of 2017, with 55.5 percent owner-occupied and 31.8 percent renter-occupied.

A recent survey by National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) shows that approximately eight out of ten Americans still believe strongly that buying a home is a good financial choice.