U.S. homeownership rate remains strong, thanks to young buyers

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Holding steady

The national homeownership rate held steady last quarter, hovering around 64 percent. According to one expert, it’s poised to rise even more thanks to an influx of young buyers.

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Young buyers flock to homeownership

Recent data from the U.S Census Bureau shows that homeownership is going strong. Currently, more than 64 percent of Americans owning a home.

According to Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic, that rate might grow even further thanks to growing demand from young buyers.

“These data show increasing evidence that not only are young homebuyers are indeed pursuing the American dream of homeownership, but solid household growth overall should continue to support healthy demand over the next two decades,” McLaughlin said. “An estimated 46 million new households under the age of 30 will push up demand for both owner and renter-occupied homes over the next two decades]. Despite recent headwinds and signs of a market cooldown, these demographic fundamentals should lead to a healthy housing demand through at least 2040.”

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Where young buyers are heading

CoreLogic’s mortgage application data shows these younger homebuyers are particularly interested in the Sunbelt region.

Mortgage applications from 18 to 44-year-olds were up 5.5 percent in Knoxville, Tennessee, last quarter, and 5.4 percent in Vallejo, California.  Other cities ranking high with young buyers as of late were Bakersfield, California (with a 5.2 percent surge in applications); Winston-Salem, South Carolina (4.5 percent); and Boise City, Idaho (4.2 percent).

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Colorado and the Northeast appear to be less than desirable for young buyers. Mortgage applications for the cohort were down in both Reading and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last quarter, dipping 6.7 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. They also dropped in Colorado’s Boulder and Denver, with decreases of 5.1 percent and 3.9 percent. Richmond, Virginia also saw applications drop for the quarter.

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