Home ownership has reached is lowest level in more than 17 years.
“There is a big shortage of homes and the amount of households and people that need to live somewhere is increasing,” said Guy Berger, an economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut. “It’s difficult to buy a home, they have to look somewhere, so they are renting.”
Four years since the 2007-09 recession ended, the unemployment rate is at an uncomfortably high 7.6 percent and about 22.6 million people are either unemployed, working only part-time although wanting full-time work, or want a job but have given up the search.
While the housing market has decisively swung to firmer ground, economists argue that the recovery is partly being driven by investors.
According to North America chief economist at BNP Paribas in New York, Households are moving into the rental market. Investors are buying empty homes and converting them. We have not seen a renewed interest in home ownership.
The residential rental vacancy rate fell four-tenths of a percentage point to 8.2 percent in the second quarter, the lowest reading since the first quarter of 2001.
Economists believe that rising mortgage rates could cause the homeownership rate to creep even lower in the short-term. It does make rental activity more economically appealing on the margin than owning a home.
In the second quarter, the decline in homeownership was concentrated in the 45-54 age group, where it fell four-tenths of a point. Ownership among people between 55 and 64 fell 0.3 percentage point in the second quarter.
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Original article - Dayton Daily News