The national homeownership rate reached its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2014, increasing slightly in the last quarter of 2017, according to the Quarterly Residential Vacancies and Homeownership report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The homeownership rate remained statistically unchanged, inching up to 64.2% in the fourth quarter. This is up from 63.7% the year before and 63.9% in the third quarter.
The chart below shows the homeownership rate has been steadily rising since 2016, however it remains historically low.
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
“After bouncing around near 50-year lows for the past few years, the national homeownership rate finally seems to be gaining sustainable, meaningful upward momentum,” Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas said. “The fourth quarter of 2017 was unseasonably strong, driven by buyers determined to make a deal in a highly competitive market.”
“And for would-be buyers struggling to save for a down payment or figuring out how to make the monthly mortgage math pencil out, changes in the tax code that potentially put more money in their pockets could be the push they need to move out of an apartment and into a first home,” Terrazas said.
Among Millennials, the homeownership rate ticked up slightly from 35.6% to 36%. Among older generations, the homeownership is significantly higher at 75.3% for those aged 55 to 64 years and 79.2% for those aged 65 years and older.