Tuesday, April 30, 2013

First-Time Homebuyer Watch: 1st Quarter, 2013

Homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34, first quarter 2013: 48.9%

The homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34 climbed 0.3 percentage points between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, reaching 48.9 percent. Although still below the 50 percent threshold, this rate is 0.6 percentage points higher than a year ago and may be good news for a housing market facing difficult demographics—downsizing boomers and indebted young adults.

The homeownership rate of the 30-to-34 age group is the bellwether for the housing industry. Historically, the majority of householders have become homeowners in their early thirties. That is no longer the case as young adults--many burdened by student loans--cannot afford to buy a home. On top of that, as those who resisted buying a home age into their late thirties, the homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds is in steep decline. Over the past 12 months, the homeownership rate of the 35-to-39 age group fell by 1.1 percentage points, to 55.3 percent. Just two years ago, the homeownership rate of this age group exceeded 60 percent. The collapse of the housing market is a slow-motion debacle, and it's not over yet.

In the nation as a whole, the homeownership rate was 65.0 percent in the first quarter of 2013—0.4 percentage points below the 65.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

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