A byproduct of the last housing market boom-bust of nearly a decade ago, the U.S. homeownership for 2016 is just above 63 percent, the lowest annual average in 50 years, according to CoreLogic.
“But we may be at or near the bottom of the homeowner decline,” writes CoreLogic‘s Frank Nothaft
The foreclosure crisis has been a factor.
More than 10 million homeowners lost their homes through completed foreclosures or short sales since 2006. Since the number of households in 2006 was about 115 million, that would represent about 9 percent of households.
And then there is the demographics of the housing market, with younger would-be home buyers staying on the sidelines and entering the rental market, as student loan debt rates have soared and incomes are stagnant.
“Demographics have been another cause of the dip in homeownership as the large millennial cohort has formed households and entered the rental market,” Nothaft said. “But this age-related drag on aggregate homeownership may be largely behind us, as an increasing number of millennial households enter their 30s, the typical age of first-time ownership.”
However, at least two trends may continue to hold down homeownership rates.
The first: minority-headed households are expected to make up nearly three-fourths of net new households created over the next decade, and these households have historically lower homeownership rates.
The second trend, Nothaft says, is “a smaller mortgage ‘credit box’ today compared with 15 or more years ago, which reflects the nexus of cautious underwriting and discouraged would-be buyers who have variable income or marginal credit scores.”