Homeownership Rate Up in Third Quarter

Wall Street Journal writer Laura Kusisto reported on Tuesday that, “The homeownership rate inched up in the last several months to the highest level since 2014, as more households are finding a way to buy homes despite limited supply and rising prices.

“The homeownership rate climbed to 63.9% in the third quarter, up from 63.7% in the second quarter and 63.5% a year earlier, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

“The increase isn’t considered statistically significant, but it marks the second consecutive quarterly gain, which suggests upward momentum. Home sales have been sluggish in recent months, while price gains are continuing to accelerate, raising concerns that demand is shrinking.”

The Journal article indicated that, “The increase in the homeownership rate was strongest in the Midwest, where home prices remain relatively affordable. The homeownership rate there climbed to 69.1% from 68% in the second quarter. The other parts of the country, where prices are increasing much more quickly, saw their homeownership rates remain flat.

“There are additional indications in Tuesday’s report that households are shifting to owning from renting. The number of owner households increased by 755,000 from a year earlier, while the number of renter households declined by 348,000, according to the Census.

“That nonetheless suggests that overall household formation is fairly weak, with just over 400,000 households formed in the third quarter.”

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