Homeownership Rate for Americans Under 35 Peaked in 2004

August 1, 2014 - 3:04 PM
For Sale Sign

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(CNSNews.com) - The homeownership rate for Americans under 35 years of age peaked in 2004 and has been trending generally (but not persistently) downward since then, according to data released this week by the Census Bureau.

In the second quarter of 2014, the rate of homeownership among householders who are under 35 dropped to the lowest number ever reported since the Census Bureau first started recording quarterly homeownership rates 21 years ago.

In a news release published this week, the Census Bureau said that the homeownership rate among householders under 35 was 35.9 percent in the second quarter of 2014. That number was not only lower than any quarterly rate going back to the fourth quarter of 1993 (the first quarterly rate reported) but was also lower than any of the annual homeownership rates for under 35s that the Census Bureau has published since 1982.

Quarterly Homeownership Rates for Householders Under 35

However, a Census Bureau official also said that the 35.9 percent homeownership rate for under 35s for the second quarter was not statistically different from the rate for the first quarter of this year (36.2 percent) or the fourth quarter of 2013 (36.8 percent).

The term householder, according to the Census Bureau, “refers to the person (or one of the persons) in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented.” A housing unit is “a house, an apartment, a group of rooms, or a single room occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants do not live and eat with other persons in the structure and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall.”

The homeownership rate for a particular age bracket, according to the Census Bureau, is “calculated by dividing the number of owner households in a particular age group by the total number of occupied households in that age group.”

Homeownership Rate for Americans Under 35 Peaked in 2004

The 35.9 percent homeownership rate for under 35s reported for the second quarter of 2014 was the lowest reported since the Census Bureau started reporting a quarterly homeownership rate for under 35s in the fourth quarter of 1993. Although the 35.9 rate for the second quarter was not statistically different from the 36.2 percent rate reported for the first quarter or the 36.8 percent rate reported for the fourth quarter of last year, the quarterly homeownership rate for householders under 35 has been trending generally (but not persistently) downward since it peaked at 43.6 percent in the second quarter of 2004.

Prior to the fourth quarter of 1993, the Census Bureau only reported the homeownership rate on an annual basis, not a quarterly one. But since 1982, the earliest year for which the Census Bureau has an annual homeownership rate, the annual homeownership rate for under 35s has never dropped below 36.7, the rate it hit in 2012. (In 2013, the annual homeownership rate for under 35s ticked up slightly to 36.8).

Like the quarterly homeownership rate for under 35s, the overall annual national homeownership rate, which takes in all age brackets, also peaked in 2004--when it hit 69 percent.

Overall Homeownership Rate

By 2013, the overall annual homeownership rate had dropped to 65.1 percent--the lowest it had seen since 1995, when it was 64.7 percent. (In the first quarter of this year, the Census Bureau reported, the quarterly overall homeowership rate dropped to 64.8, and in the second quarter it dropped to 64.7.)

Since 1982, the lowest level seen in the overall annual homeownership rate has been 63.8 percent. That was the annual rate in both 1986 and 1988.