Lowest Homeownership Rate for Younger Householders in Two Years

The Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (CPS/HVS) reported the U.S. homeownership rate declined to 65.6% in the first quarter of 2024. This is 0.1 percentage points lower from the prior quarter reading (65.7%) and is the lowest rate in the last two years. The homeownership rate remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.4%, a multidecade low for housing affordability conditions.

The homeownership rate for householders ages less than 35 decreased to 37.7% in the first quarter of 2024. Amidst elevated mortgage interest rates and tight housing supply, affordability is declining for first-time homebuyers. This age group, who are particularly sensitive to mortgage rates and the inventory of entry-level homes, saw the largest decline among all age categories.



The national rental vacancy rate stayed at 6.6% for the first quarter of 2024, and the homeowner vacancy rate inched down to 0.8%. The homeowner vacancy rate is still hovering near the lowest rate in the survey’s 67-year history (0.7%).



The homeownership rates for all age groups decreased over the last year, except groups aged 45-54 and 55-64 years. The homeownership rates among householders aged less than 35 experienced a 1.6 percentage points decrease from 39.3% to 37.7%. Followed by the 35-44 age group with a 1.2 percentage points decrease from 62.6% to 61.4%. Next, were households aged 65 years and over, who experienced a modest 0.1 percentage point decline. However, homeownership rates of householders aged 45-54 increased to 70.8% in the first quarter of 2024 from 70.1% a year ago. The homeownership rate of households aged 55-64 years edged up to 76.3% from a year ago.




The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the count of total households increased to 131.1 million in the first quarter of 2024 from 129.6 million a year ago. The gains are largely due to gains in both renter household formation (907,000 increase), and owner households (907,000 increase).



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