Wednesday, October 31, 2018

First-Time Homebuyer Watch: 3rd Quarter 2018

Homeownership rate of householders aged 35 to 39, third quarter 2018: 57.5%

The homeownership rate of 35-to-39-year-olds—the nation's first-time home buyers—inched upwards in the third quarter of 2018, rising above 57 percent for only the second time since 2012. Post Great Recession, the homeownership rate of the age group dipped as low as 54.6 percent in 2015. It peaked at 65.7 percent in 2007. The third quarter rate is closer to the bottom than the top, but a slight upward trend in homeownership may be in evidence. 

What about their younger counterparts, aged 30 to 34, who were once the nation's first-time home buyers? Their homeownership rate rose to 48.0 percent in the third quarter of 2018. This is up from 45.9 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 (defined as the age group in which the homeownership rate first surpasses 50 percent). But their rate fell below 50 percent in 2011 and has been stuck there ever since. With their recent gains, perhaps 30-to-34-year-olds are on their way to reclaiming first-time homebuyer status.

Nationally, the homeownership rate was 64.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018, up from 63.9 percent one year earlier. The difference is not statistically significant.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey

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