In celebration of National Homeownership Month, recognized by the National Association of Realtors each June, I wanted to share with you a few facts about owning a home in America today and the current real estate market conditions.
Homeownership rates are holding steady. In the first quarter of 2019, the homeownership rate leveled off at 64.2 percent, down slightly from the quarter prior. While rates have been rising since late 2015, they’ve hovered around the 64 percent range for the past year.
Today’s homeownership rate represents a healthy market. News outlets often talk of the peak rate, which hit almost 70 percent in 2004. However, that high preceded and, frankly, contributed to the market downturn in that a large number of home buyers were getting loans they didn’t have the ability to pay back. That led to affordability challenges and increasing numbers of loan defaults. Today’s rates are closer to the averages in the 1990s, when we had a more stable and positive housing market.
More and more millennials are buying homes. The much talked-about generation has been steadily moving from renting to homeownership, as they get married and start families. Mortgage rates have also remained at historic lows, driving more first-time buyers to the market and giving millennials more buying power.
Inventory shortages are causing homeownership challenges. Throughout the country, we’ve seen limited homes for sale, especially those in the entry-level and first move-up markets. This lack of inventory is presenting an obstacle for would-be buyers at those price points. With these conditions, it’s even more important than ever for buyers to work with a real estate professional like me.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling, please get in touch. I’m here to answer any of your real estate questions and share my advice for getting the home (or investment property) of your dreams.