Thursday, July 26, 2018

First-Time Home Buyer Watch: 2nd Quarter 2018

Homeownership rate of householders aged 35 to 39, second quarter 2018: 56.8%

The homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds—the nation's first-time home buyers—took a step back in the second quarter of 2018, falling below 57 percent. Their first quarter rate (57.1 percent) had cracked the 57 percent threshold for the first time since 2012—suggesting a trend of rising homeownership in the age group. But it was a short-lived blip. Although these bobbles are not statistically significant, it is clear the age group is treading water. The homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds peaked at 65.7 percent in the first quarter of 2007

What about their younger counterparts, aged 30 to 34, who were once the nation's first-time home buyers? Their homeownership rate rose to 47.9 percent in the second quarter of 2018. This is up from 45.2 percent one year earlier, a statistically significant increase. Before the Great Recession, 30-to-34-year-olds were the nation's first-time home buyers (the age at which the homeownership rate surpasses 50 percent). But their rate fell below 50 percent in 2011 and has been stuck there ever since. Perhaps this age group is on its way to reclaiming first-time homebuyer status.

Nationally, the homeownership rate was 64.3 percent in the second quarter of 2018, up from 63.7 percent one year earlier. The difference is not statistically significant.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

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