The Real Deal New York

Homeownership rate is at 1990s levels, and it’s only getting tougher for Americans to buy homes

It's harder to buy a home now than it was before the Great Recession
September 10, 2018 08:30AM

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The home ownership rate in the country has declined precipitously since its peak more than a dozen years ago. And ever since the recession, it’s been harder for Americans to buy homes.

The home ownership rate in April stood at 64.4 percent, according to figures from the Census Bureau reported by the Wall Street Journal.

That’s roughly on par with levels from the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, before a decade-long home-buying boom drove the rate to a peak of 69.4 percent in April 2004.

But a confluence of factors is making it more difficult to buy a home now than it was a decade ago. Lenders are pulling back from making mortgages, and developers haven’t added enough new supply after getting stuck with a glut of inventory last time around.

Meanwhile, home prices are rising fastest for lower-priced properties — the kind first-time homebuyers are most able to afford. And the median age of a homebuyer last years 45, which is the highest its been in more than three decades.

However, Bloomberg reported that the home ownership rate among young adults is expected to rise to 58.1 percent by 2025. [WSJ] — Rich Bockmann