Homeownership ready to rise after hitting an all-time low

by  Prashant Gopal | Bloomberg

April 27, 2017, 10:33 AM MST

  • First-quarter gain in owners was biggest in more than a decade
  • Wage growth, rising confidence pushing more people to buy

The U.S. homeownership rate is finally poised to rise significantly as household formations by owners grew faster in the first quarter than those by renters — the first time that’s happened in more than a decade.

While the share of Americans who owned their homes was up only slightly from a year earlier, at 63.6 percent, the number of new owners jumped by more than 850,000, compared with an increase in renter households of 365,000. The 1.1 percent year-over-year gain in owners was also the biggest since 2006, according to an analysis by Trulia of Census Bureau datareleased Thursday.

The homeownership rate, which sunk last year to the lowest level in data going back to 1965, had been losing ground because young people leaving home tended to rent rather than buy. That diluted the number of owner-occupant households. Now, with consumer confidence on the upswing and wages increasing, first-time buyers are being drawn into the market after years of saving for down payments.

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