Household Formation Growth Indicates Shift In Homeownership Rates

The national homeownership rate dropped to 63.7 percent, but more new households are owner-occupied

February 3, 2017

Last quarter, household formation rates improved 0.5 percent on an annual basis to 805,000 new households.

Trulia reports that 46 percent of new households last year were owner-occupied, which suggests that the nation’s low homeownership rate may be due for a rebound.

The Census Homeownership and Vacancy Survey (HVS) released this week indicated that homeownership has dropped to 63.7 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from last year. The ownership rate is as low as it’s been since the early 1960s.

Not everyone desires to own a home, though. Trulia’s end of the year survey found that 72 percent of Millennials considered homeownership as part of their American Dream, down from 80 percent in 2015.

Given millennials make up the largest pool of potential homebuyers in the U.S., this should be at least somewhat disconcerting. If the for-sale housing market is to continue building steam in the years ahead, this demographic will need to transition into homeownership in order to support the resale of homes by their older counterparts.

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