Finding a Slice of the Pie

Bloomberg News this week noted an interesting trend in the real estate marketplace: the homeownership rate in the U.S. “is finally poised to rise significantly.” The deciding factor is the owner-vs.-renter composition of households–a figure that is examined in each census. According to the United State Census Bureau, homeownership rates are “computed by dividing the number of households that are owners by the total number of occupied households.”

While this number ticked upward for many years and “reached a peak of 69.2 percent in June 2004,” the recession sharply curbed the number of homeowner households and swelled the number of renter households. In 2016, the homeownership rate reached its lowest level since 1965.

Now, it seems, the trend is turning back in favor of homeownership. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy for those buyers to find the home of their dreams. Noting the “severe supply shortages” of homes for sale, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said this week, “Home shoppers are coming out in droves this spring and competing with each other for the meager amount of listings.”

With median prices up and time-on-market down along with inventory, buyers hoping to get a slice of the pie need to show up at the table knowing what’s on the menu and exactly how much they are prepared to spend.

Joyce Rey
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