The Real Deal New York

Homeownership in US hits lowest level since 1995

Slow wage growth, strict lending standards seen holding back first-time buyers
October 29, 2014 04:05PM

Homeownership in the U.S. is at a 19-year low.

According to data collected for the third quarter of 2014, only 64.4 percent of Americans owned their homes, according to Bloomberg News. In the previous months, the homeownership rate was at 64.7 percent, according to a Census Bureau report cited by the news outlet. The current rate is the lowest since the first quarter of 1995, partially due to tightening credit and a shift toward renting.

Slow wage growth and strict mortgage standards are holding back first-time buyers. In September, the share of first-time buyers came in at 29 percent for the third month in a row, Bloomberg reported. Historically, that number is usually around 40 percent.

Homeownership in the country saw a peak in June 2004 at 69.2 percent. Between 1965 and 1999, the average was 64.5 percent. [Bloomberg News] — Claire Moses