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Tide turned: U.S. homeownership rate going up again

WASHINGTON – May 2, 2018 – Rising wages, loosening credit standards and demographic shifts are all creating momentum for owning rather than renting, according to U.S. Census data released last week.

The homeownership rate rose from the prior year for the fifth consecutive quarter in 2018, holding steady at 64.2 percent – unchanged from the prior quarter and its highest level since 2014.

The share of Americans who own a home rose from the prior year, up from 63.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Year-to-year, the U.S. added 1.3 million owner households and lost 286,000 renter households. It’s the fourth consecutive quarter in which the number of renter households declined compared to the same quarter one year earlier.

Challenges remain for today’s renters, however, such as rising interested rates, limited inventory and higher home prices.

The increase in homeownership was not even across all age groups, for example, and the homeownership rate for households headed by someone 35 years or younger declined to 35.3 percent from 36 percent the prior quarter. Still, it rose a full percentage point from 34.3 percent year-to-year – the fifth consecutive quarter it has gone up on an annual basis.

Source: Wall Street Journal (04/26/18) Kusisto, Laura

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