Homeownership Among US Millennials At All Time Low

Source: ZeroHedge.com
April 30, 2017

After dropping to an all time low 62.9% in Q2 of 2016, the US homeownership rate rebounded modestly in the subsequent two quarters, before once again taking a step lower according to the latest Census data, released last week, and which showed that the percentage of US homeowners declined from 63.7% to 63.6% in Q1 of 2017, less than 1% from the all time lows in the series history going back to the mid 1960s.

A breakdown of the data by age group reveals that the primary driver for this latest decline was once again the youngest age cohort. While older Americans, especially those 65 and older, have predictably seen only modest declines in their homeownership in recent decades, it was the youngest age group, those 35 and younger, i.e. the Millennials, who once again decided against owning and chose to rent instead.

As shown in the chart below, the homeownership rate for Americans 35 and younger slumped from 34.7% as of December 2016 to 34.3%, in line with the lowest rate reported by the Census Bureau going back nearly a quarter century. Of note: the largest decline in the homeownership rate following the collapse in the house market occurred for households aged 35 to 44, although it appears to be stabilizing in recent quarters.

And since most young Americans are opting not to own, but rather rent, the latest data from the Census showed that in Q1, the median asking rent was flat at $864, just $6 below the all time high recorded one year earlier.

Broken down by region, there has been a sharp spike in asking rents in the Northeast region, which continues to closely compete with asking rents in the West, i.e., California, with the median rent in the two regions approximately $1,100 and well above rents in either the Midwest or the South.

That said, the contribution from owner-occupied households to overall household growth continues to increase, while the contribution from renters has stabilized after falling sharply in late 2015 and through much of 2016. On a year-over-year basis, the four-quarter moving average of renter-occupied households increased 599,000 in the first quarter, while the four-quarter moving average of owner-occupied households increased 441,000. The gap between the increase in renter- and owner-occupied households was the narrowest since the second quarter of 2007.

Finally, Census also revealed an increase of 158,000 households in the first quarter, following an increase of 47,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016. On a year-over-year basis, the number of households was up 1.219 million in the first quarter, up from 804,000 in the fourth quarter. The HVS data can be noisy, so we focus on year-over-year changes in four-quarter moving averages to assess trends in household formation. On that basis, the increase in households in the first quarter was 1.039 million, up from 878,000 in the fourth quarter.

Source: US Census

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Bye Bye Middle Class: The Rate Of Homeownership In The United States Has Hit The Lowest Level Ever

Abandoned House - Public Domain
Source: EconomicCollapseBlog.com
Michael Snyder
July 28, 2016

The percentage of Americans that own a home has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded.  During the second quarter of 2016, the non-seasonally adjusted homeownership rate fell to just 62.9 percent, which was exactly where it was at when the U.S. Census began publishing this measurement back in 1965.  This is not what a “recovery” looks like.  All throughout the Obama years, the percentage of Americans that own a home has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller.  The reason for this, of course, is that the middle class in America is dying.  Last year, we learned that middle class Americans now make up a minority of the population for the first time ever.  In order to have a high rate of homeownership, you need a thriving middle class, and you can’t have a thriving middle class without good paying middle class jobs.  This is why I write about the evisceration of the middle class so extensively, because the U.S. economy is systematically being hollowed out and most Americans don’t understand what is happening.

Traditionally, owning a home has been a sign that you have arrived as a member of the middle class, but under Barack Obama the percentage of Americans that own a home has fallen every single year.  In the past, we have talked about how it had fallen to the lowest level in decades, but now it has officially fallen to the lowest level ever.  The following comes from CNBC

After rising just over a decade ago to its highest level ever, the nation’s homeownership rate fell to match its all-time low and could drop even further in the months to come.

In the second quarter of this year, the rate fell to 62.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted, which is the same as it was in 1965, when the U.S. Census started tracking the metric. During the epic housing boom in the mid-2000s, the rate soared as high as 69.2 percent. That was when politicians touted the so-called “ownership society.”

So why is this happening?

Well, according to Wolf Richter analysts are blaming many factors…

  • Rising home prices in an economy of stagnant wages (for the lower 80%) have pushed entry-level homes out of reach for many people.
  • Lower priced homes in many urban areas entail a huge and costly ($ and time) commute every day. And even then, these homes may be too much of stretch for big parts of the population in expensive urban areas.
  • First time buyers are having trouble saving for a down payment since they spend their last available dime to meet soaring rents.
  • Millennials have been blamed. They always get blamed for everything. They saw their parents deal with the American Dream as it turned into the American Nightmare, and they learned their lesson early in life.
  • The super-low interest rate environment hasn’t made homes more affordable because home prices, in response to super-low interest rates, have soared, and in the end, mortgage payments are higher than they were before.
  • Higher home prices entail other costs that are higher, including taxes, brokerage fees, and insurance.

Certainly all of those points are legitimate, but the truth is that what we are facing is much broader than all of that.  The middle class in the United States has been dying for decades, and in recent years the long-term trends that have been slowly eating away at the middle class like cancer have accelerated significantly.  Just consider these numbers…

-In America today, nobody has a job in one out of every five families.

-At this moment, 102 million working age Americans do not have a job.

-According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of American workers currently make less than $30,000 a year.

-In 1970, the middle class brought home approximately 62 percent of all income. Today, that number has plunged to just 43 percent.

-The Federal Reserve says that 47 percent of Americans could not pay an unexpected $400 emergency room bill without borrowing the money from somewhere or selling something.

-One recent survey discovered that 62 percent of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.

-If you currently have no debt and you also have ten dollars in your pocket, that gives you a greater net worth than about 25 percent of all Americans.

-According to Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, the authors of a book entitled “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America“, there are 1.5 million “ultrapoor” households in the United States that live on less than two dollars a day.  If you can believe it, that number has doubled since 1996.

-Back in 2007, approximately one out of every eight children in America was on food stamps. Today, that number is one out of every five.

-Things continue to get worse for the middle class as we head into the second half of 2016.  Gallup’s U.S. economic confidence index just hit the lowest level so far this year.

I could keep quoting numbers at you all day, but hopefully you are getting the picture.

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