Home Ownership Rate Flatlines at 18-Year Lows

November 6, 2013

U.S. home ownership rates remained at 65.1 percent in the third quarter, holding at its lowest level since 1995, the Commerce Department reports. Some economists are blaming the low rate on first-time home buyers being squeezed out of home ownership

The home ownership rate peaked in 2004 at 69.4 percent. But high unemployment and tight lending conditions is placing home ownership out of reach to more families, Reuters reports. About 21.5 million Americans are either unemployed or working only part-time, although desiring a full-time job. 

Also, “with the share of first-time home buyers hovering well below levels that economists and real estate professionals consider ideal, there are concerns the higher borrowing costs could hold the home ownership rate near current lows,” Reuters reports. 

The Commerce Department reports that the home ownership rate was lowest for the under-35 age group and highest among those 65 years and older. 

Source: “U.S. Home Ownership Rate Holds Near 18-Year Lows,” Reuters (Nov. 5, 2013)

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