US homeownership rate the lowest in 51 years

by Michael Mata03 Aug 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump recently made small ripples via social media website Twitter when he pointed out that the American homeownership rate in the second quarter of 2016 was at its lowest point in 51 years. At a paltry 62.9%, the American homeownership rate hasn’t been this low since the third quarter of 1965.

According to statistics published by the US Census Bureau News, the Q2 2016 homeownership rate of 62.9% was 0.5 percentage points lower than the second quarter of 2015 rate (63.4%) and 0.6 percentage points lower than the first quarter of 2016 rate (63.5%). While low, the homeownership rate for Q2 2016 is neither the lowest in history, nor is it the lowest ever recorded in US history.    

The lowest homeownership rate since 1957’s PMI innovation was 61.9% in 1960. Additionally, the lowest homeownership rate recorded since 1890 was 43.6% in 1940, during the closing years of the Great Depression.

While Trump’s tweet clearly outlined the data, it provided no explanation for this dip in the homeownership rate. The most obvious reason is surging real estate prices in many parts of the US. Another reason is the massive demographic shift that is transforming the nation.

Millennials now comprise approximately 25% of the workforce and, unlike previous generations, millennials are less inclined to live independently, with many preferring to live at home.


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