August 2019

Is a Turnaround Looming for the Homeownership Rate?

National Association of Realtors
July 29, 2019

The homeownership rate fell slightly to 64.1% in the second quarter, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released this week. While the number of new households is rising, the homeownership rate was mostly flat during the quarter due to the increase mostly coming from new renter households. The number of new renters was larger than the number of new owners for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016, according to census data.

"The housing shortage, especially at the level of moderately priced homes, has prevented financially capable renters from owning," Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORSĀ®, said in a statement about the latest homeownership rate numbers. "More home construction is needed to relieve the housing shortage and allow more Americans to participate in the wealth gains associated with ownership."

Indeed, the homeownership rate is below what it should be, Mark Fleming, chief economist of First American, noted in a separate report this month. In 2018, the homeownership rate underperformed potential demand by 8.7%, and Fleming points to young adults and their lifestyle choices as the main culprit.

Where Are We Now? 
Data Shows Substantial Housing Progress Post-Recession

RIS Media 
By Liz Dominguez

Since the recession, the U.S. real estate housing markets have undergone a significant transformation, creating a booming real estate industry that is almost unrecognizable to the one we had just a decade ago.

June marked the longest period of economic expansion for the country, reaching 121 months. What's happened in that time? According to a CoreLogic report, "The Role of Housing in the Longest Economic Expansion," the housing flip rate and home prices and rents are up. One of the biggest indicators of change, however, is the drastic dip in homes with negative equity. All of these improvements have been driven by several economic factors, such as low unemployment and rising GDP growth rates.

"During the last nine years, the expansion has created more than 20 million jobs, raised family incomes and rebuilt consumer confidence," says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. "The longest stretch of mortgage rates below 5 percent in more than 60 years has supplemented these factors. These economic forces have driven a recovery in home sales, construction, prices and home equity wealth."

Home Equity Rates Have Drastically Improved
Negative equity no more. In the first quarter of 2010, the percentage of underwater homes sat at a dismal 25.9 percent. Fast-forward to earlier this year, and that number has significantly dropped to a mere 4.1 percent.

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