Homeownership Rate Climbs, But Remains Historically Low

Wall Street Journal writer¬†Josh Mitchell reported late last week that, “The U.S. homeownership rate continues to climb, with more Americans benefiting from the sharp rise in home values in recent years.

“The downside: Homeownership remains historically low. It has risen tepidly this year despite strong economic growth.

“The share of homes in which at least one occupant is the owner rose to 64.3% in the second quarter, up a tenth of a percentage point from the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday in a report. The rate has climbed 0.6 percentage point over the past year.”

“Homeownership Keeps Climbing,” by Josh Mitchell. The Wall Street Journal (July 26, 2018).

The Journal article indicated that, “But the rate remains far below the peak of 69.2% in late 2004, and a full percentage point below the 50-year average.

“There are also new clouds hovering over the housing market, meaning that further gains in homeownership may be tough to achieve. Sales of previously owned homes fell 2.2% in June, National Association of Realtors data show.

“And sales of newly built homes, while up over the past year, fell in June from the prior month, Commerce Department data show.”

Mr. Mitchell added that, “The average rate on a 30-year mortgage has risen more than half a percentage point since early January to 4.54%, according to Freddie Mac. Existing-home prices climbed 5.2% over the past year to an all-time record in June, NAR figures show.”

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