• We are in the strongest period of renter growth going back to the 1960s, when the Census began tracking rent vs. own.
  • Each of the three younger age segments have experienced a shrinking number of home-owning households, totaling a decline of 6.85 million over the last ten years.
  • The 55 to 64 group is unique in that the homeownership rate has shrunk (82 percent to 76 percent), yet the strong growth in the number of households allowed the number of homeowners to grow by 3.9 million.
MAY 2015 – Have you ever taken your temperature and been relieved to find out you had a fever? You say to yourself, “No wonder I feel so bad.” I had a similar moment while researching national homeownership trends, which dropped to a 25-year low of 63.7 percent in 1Q15. What is less often reported is that the number of households has grown steadily during this time from just under 93 million in 1989 to over 123 million in 2014. Furthermore, even though the percentage of homeowners is unchanged compared to 25 years ago, because of overall household growth there are now nearly 20 million more home-owning households in the U.S. compared to 1989.

The problem has to do with trends in the last 9 years. During this time the number of households has grown by nearly 10 million (plus 9 percent), yet the number of home-owning households has grown by only 660,000, which is less than 1 percent growth. Conversely, the number of rental households has grown by 9.2 million or plus 26 percent. This certainly explains why the apartment market has been so robust. Currently, multi-family permits (mostly apartments) account for 36 percent of all permits, compared to an average of 19 percent from 2000 to 2006. This is the strongest period of renter growth going back to the 1960s, when the Census began tracking rent vs. own.

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