Examining The Homeownership Gap Between The Rich And Poor

Around 77 percent of wealthy households own their own homes, compared to only 34.9 percent of poor households

August 10, 2017
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The homeownership gap is narrowing, but there is still a chasm between the haves and have-nots.

Trulia analyzed the homeownership rates of the upper and lower classes in the U.S. and found that, on a national level, 77 percent of wealthy households own their own homes, 2.3 times the 34.9 percent homeownership rate of poor households. The gap is high, but down from the 2.4 ratio of wealthy-to-poor ownership rates in 2012.

The gap was larger in the 100 largest metros, where 79.3 percent of people in the top third of income owned a home, compared to only 27.9 percent of people in the bottom third.

The report focused on working age adults between 25 and 55, ignoring retirees who may not earn as much income.

What determines the gaps? Homeownership inequality can’t be pinned to a single reason. Things like the range of household income, range of home prices, age of the population, and the proportion of the population that have lived in their home for less than five years all play a role, but none alone are strong predictors.

Trulia noted that the ebbs and flows of the economy has mirrored changes in the homeownership gap throughout the years. The gap tends to rise when the nation goes into a recession.

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