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Fewer Americans Are Buying Houses, Keeping Demand High for Apartments

Home ownership rates fell in the second quarter nationally, suggesting renter demand will remain strong in the high-flying U.S. apartment market.


As of the second quarter, only about 64.1% of U.S. households are owned by their occupants, according to new census data. That’s down from almost 70% in 2007 before the housing market crashed, and it's a dip from 64.2% in the first quarter.


The drop is noteworthy in that homeowership rates had begun to tick up in 2018, sparking discussion about whether the rental boom might be ebbing.


For perspective, a one-percentage point decline in the homeownership rate over the course of a year translates into roughly a gain of about 800,000 renter households.

The apartment market is benefiting from the creation of new households – especially young people moving out on their own for the first time – while buying a house slightly more rare.

This trend, which has been going on for over a decade, according to CoStar research, has encouraged developers to undertake a new building boom.


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