The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the homeownership rate fell to a seasonally adjusted level of 63.6% in the first quarter of this year, just one tenth of one basis point above its all-time low in the second quarter of 2015.
Young people especially are having a hard time breaking into the housing market, CNBC reported. High student loan debt, tight mortgage credit and rising home prices are all translating to low homeownership among millennials. Homeownership among those ages 25-34 is nearly 10 percentage points lower than it was 10 years ago, CNBC reported. And first-time nomeboyers – traditionally 40% of all buyers – today account for barely 30%.
“Rental affordability remains a big problem in many places, and that makes it harder to save for a down payment,” Jed Kolko, an independent economist and senior fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California, Berkeley, told CNBC. “We're still seeing relatively few first-time homebuyers because young people are buying homes later than they used to. Some of this is a long-term shift toward marrying and having children later in life. Some of this is that the recovery has been slow among young adults.”
On the other hand, homeownership is actually up among older Americans. That may because renting has become more expensive, CNBC reported.
After making gains in the second half of 2015, homeownership is headed down again, according to a CNBC report.