Homeownership Rate Isn’t Growing – But Demand for Owning is Still Strong

Homeownership rates have been stagnant for a while now, and that didn’t change in the third quarter of this year, according to the latest research from the U.S. Census Bureau.


According to the bureau’s research, the homeownership rate across the United States stood at 63.9 percent. That is little different from the rate of 63.5 percent in the third quarter of 2016 and the 63.7 percent rate in the second quarter of this year.


Still, the fact that nearly 64 percent of households are owner-occupied shows that the majority of people in the United States still prefer owning a home to renting an apartment, despite all the headlines proclaiming that renting is becoming a choice of a growing number of adults.


Why has the homeownership rate remained so stagnant? In a written statement, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS(R), pointed to the low inventory levels of homes for sale.


Yun says that there simply aren’t enough single-family homes or condos for sale to meet the demand for ownership. The fact that inventory levels are low, has made buying a home a more challenging financial proposition for many buyers. Yun said that low inventory levels have helped push up home prices by 48 percent since 2011. During this same period, U.S. wage growth has been just 15 percent.


If there were more condos and single-family homes available for sale, Yun says, the country’s homeownership rate would rise.


If you’re looking for a condo or single-family home in Chicago, you understand what Yun is getting at. It can be difficult to find the right home in some of the city’s busiest and most popular neighborhoods. Supply is simply low today.


Your best bet is to work with a Chicago REALTOR® who knows the neighborhood in which you want to buy. Working with such a pro can help you nab the right home before another buyer puts in an offer.