Thursday, January 29, 2015

First-Time Homebuyer Watch: 4th Quarter 2014

Homeownership rate of householders aged 30 to 34, fourth quarter 2014: 47.4%

The homeownership rate of households headed by people aged 30 to 34 was nearly a full percentage above the all-time low of 46.5 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2014. Still, the figure is well below the 50-percent threshold that once marked this age group as the nation's first-time homebuyers. Historically, homeownership became the norm in the 30-to-34 age group—rising above 50 percent. But beginning in 2007, the homeownership rate of 30-to-34-year-olds went into a tailspin. In the second quarter of 2011, the rate fell below 50 percent for the first time. The latest number is another datapoint in the ongoing trend.

The new age of first-time home buying is 35 to 39, but even this age group is slipping. The homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds fell to 55.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014—a record low. Since peaking in the first quarter of 2007, the homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds has fallen by more than 10 percentage points. 

Nationally, the homeownership rate slipped to 64.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from 65.2 percent a year earlier.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

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