Homeownership Rate Bump May Suggest Trend Reversal

October 31, 2016

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey, the third quarter homeownership rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 63.5 percent, booting the rate up from historic lows.

Even though the homeownership rate has decreased on an annual basis for 40 straight quarters, Zillow says a reversal may be coming.

In the third quarter, the number of owner households increased 922,000 and the number of renter households dropped 606,000. These numbers could reflect a wave of first-time buyers entering the market.

Compared to a year ago, however, renters are still driving household formation: The number of renter households is up by 628,000 (1.5 percent) since Q3 2015, while the number of owner households is up 561,000 (0.8 percent).

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