Home Ownership Remains Below 2006 Level Across All Age Groups

Home ownership rates for all age groups were lower in 2017 than in 2006, the year before the Great Recession (2007-2009).

The home ownership rate among the largest group of homeowners — those age 65 and over — has returned to within about 2 percentage points of 2006 levels. However, householders under age 35 and 35-44 years old had 2017 rates about 7 and 10 percentage points lower than in 2006.

The figure below shows that despite the economic rebound since the Great Recession, annual home ownership rates in all age groups were lower in 2017 than in 2006.

While the overall home ownership rate fluctuates over time due to recessions, interest rates, home prices, student loan debts and other factors, the impact varies by age group. Those under age 35 are much less likely to own a home than those age 65 and older.

“Most Americans think that the ideal age people should marry is 25, but only about a quarter of adults have actually done so by that age,” said Census Bureau demographer Jonathan Vespa, author of “The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975-2016”, issued in 2017. “Because marriage is closely tied with establishing their own household, young adults may be delaying home ownership to later ages as well.”

The Census Bureau also releases national home ownership rates for the Unites States on a quarterly basis. Since the first quarter 1995, the overall U.S. quarterly home ownership rate (see figure below) rose from 64.2 percent to 69.2 percent in the second and fourth quarters 2004, fell to 62.9 percent by the second quarter 2016, and came back to 64.2 percent in the fourth quarter 2017.

According to the Census Bureau’s latest home ownership release, the second quarter 2018 home ownership rate was highest for those householders age 65 years and over (78.0 percent) and lowest for the age group under 35 years old (36.5 percent).

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