Homeownership Rate Stays at 66%

The Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (CPS/HVS) reported the U.S. homeownership rate at 66% in the third quarter of 2023, amid persistently tight housing supply and elevated mortgage interest rates. The homeownership rate remained statistically unchanged from the second quarter reading (65.9%). Compared to the peak of 69.2% in 2004, the homeownership rate is 3.2 percentage points lower and remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.4%.

The homeownership rate for households aged less than 35 decreased to 38.2% in the third quarter of 2023, as affordability is declining for first-time homebuyers amidst elevated mortgage interest rates and tight housing supply.



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 particularly 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 returned the series to a more apples-to-apples comparison with the prior history of the series.

The national rental vacancy rate increased to 6.6%. The homeowner vacancy rate edged up to 0.7%, but it is still hovering near the lowest rate in the survey’s 66-year history (0.7%), signaling a supply-constrained housing market.

Households aged less than 35 experienced a one percentage point decrease in the homeownership rate. The homeownership rate among households aged 55-64 registered the largest gains among all age groups, from 75.4% to 74.6%, followed by householders aged 35-44 with 0.4 percentage point increase from 62.9% to 62.5%. The homeownership rate of households aged 45-54 declined a 0.4 percentage point. Households aged 65 and older saw their homeownership rate decrease to 79.2% in the third quarter of 2023 from 79.5% a year ago.


The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the count of total households increased to 130.4 million in the third quarter of 2023 from 128.6 million a year ago. The gains are largely due to strong owner household formation (1.1 million increase), while renter households increased 702,000 as well.

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3 thoughts on “Homeownership Rate Stays at 66%

  1. Historically the USA home ownership rate was been under 50% until after WW2.

    In recent history, every 0.1% above 60% takes more and more government intervention. By the time it rises to above 65%, it just is not sustainable without forcing families and individuals into home ownership when they really aren’t financially equipped to do so.

    Just like forcing the lower 80% (economically speaking) of American households into cars that cost north of $100K; “forcing” them into homes that are more than three times their annual gross income does them no favors at all.

    Just because some individual is not ready to be a home owner does not make them a bad person. And likewise “helping” (AKA: forcing) them into a home absolutely does not make you a good person.

  2. The sustained 66% homeownership rate underscores a consistent housing market. For aspiring homeowners eyeing new construction, exploring tailored construction loans is crucial to facilitate seamless and affordable home building amidst this stable landscape

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