Is the homeownership rate finally stabilizing?

The U.S. homeownership rate was 63.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017, barely budging from last quarter’s reading of 63.7 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

After reaching a cycle low of 62.9 percent in the second quarter of 2016, the homeownership rate appears to be stabilizing. The ownership rate, however, still remains way below the 27-year average rate of 66.1 percent.

The homeownership rate increased among all age groups in the first quarter, albeit slightly. The millennial and Generation X ownership rates increased by 0.1 percent while households aged 45 to 54 years old increased by 0.2 percent, according to the U.S. Census data.

The homeownership vacancy rate remained at 1.7 percent, and the national rental vacancy rate also held at 7 percent in the first quarter – both low by historical standards.

The number of households increased to 118.8 million in the first quarter, up by 1.2 million households from a year ago.

“Growth in household formations will spur rental housing demand first, and ultimately, home sales,” notes the National Association of Home Builders on its Eye on Housing blog.

Source: “Homeownership Rate Stable,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (April 27, 2017)

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