Does The Decline In The U.S. Home Ownership Rate Portend A Problem?

By | February 2, 2015


Summary: With various housing statistics suggesting different things concerning the overall strength of the real estate market, which will ultimately prove to be correct?

household formation,home ownership rate

Source: St. Louis Fed

Or will the fact that the rate of household formation spiked in the 4th-quarter of 2014 when compared to 2013 mitigate this issue and lead to a home buying surge?

For a U.S. economy that depends on a robust real estate market for growth, these are the two billion dollar questions.

And with these two competing statistics pointing in opposite directions, will low interest rates and an easing in some of the requirements necessary to qualify for a mortgage overcome the reluctance by first-time homebuyers to take the plunge?

Or will tight housing inventory, stagnant wages and rising home prices keep them out?

Many eyes around the country will be eagerly watching to learn the answer!

From Reuters – ‘U.S. homeownership fell to a 20-year low in the fourth quarter, but a sharp rebound in the rate at which Americans are setting up home is expected to help drive a pick-up in housing.

The seasonally adjusted home ownership rate slipped to 63.9 percent, the lowest level since the third quarter of 1994, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The rate, which peaked at 69.4 percent in 2004, was 64.3 percent in the third quarter.

Household formation, however, more than quadrupled to 1.7 million in the fourth quarter from only 356,000 in the same period in 2013. While the gains were driven by renter households, that should provide a boost to home building.


Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

And, for anyone either buying a property or refinancing, remember that although your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider you always have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at


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