The Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (CPS/HVS) reported the U.S. homeownership rate at 65.4% in the first quarter of 2022, which is statistically unchanged from the last quarter reading. The national homeowner vacancy rate slipped to a record low of 0.8%, while the rental vacancy rate increased to 5.8%.
The covid-induced data collection restrictions have ended in all areas as of the last quarter of 2021. However, technical issues involved with data collection changes limit useful comparisons of the data during the pandemic with the prior data series. We have especially noted the homeownership rate data for the last three quarters of 2020 with separate dots below to denote these technical issues. We encourage readers to consider these data points separately from the remaining data series. Nonetheless, the first three quarters of 2021 likely return the series to a more apples-to-apples comparison with the prior history of the series.
It is worthwhile to look at the homeownership rates among all age groups. The homeownership rates for households under 35 was 38.8% in the first quarter of 2022, and 62.3% for households led by 35-44 years old, 69.4% for 45-54 age groups, 75% for 55-64 age groups and 78.6% for households ages 65 years and over.
Total housing inventory was unaffected by the data collection changes during the COVID-19 pandemic period, when the estimates of homeownership rates, vacancy rates, and the components of housing inventory were affected. The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the count of total households increased to 127.5 million in the first quarter of 2022 from 125.9 million a year ago.