US Households Owning Homes Dropped To 64.5 %: Report
US Households Owning Homes Dropped To 64.5 %: Report

A recent reports released on Wednesday by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University showed that the percentage of US households owning their homes slid last year to 64.5 % for the eight consecutive year.

As per the latest data, the ownership rate in Greater Boston dropped to even lower i.e. 60.9 %, down from 64.2 % prior to the recession.

The reports highlighted rising home prices, stagnant incomes, tougher lending standards, and a lack of housing construction to meet demand as main culprits for the homeownership decline.

It further stated that these similar trends are driving up demands for rental housing and are even pushing rents higher, rising nationally at about double the rate of inflation.

In Massachusetts, the rising cost of rent is particularly acute for lower- and moderate-income households.

Reported showed that over two-thirds of Massachusetts households earning $30,000 to $45,000 a year spend 30 % or more of their incomes on rent, compared to less than half nationally.

One in three households earning $45,000 to $75,000 in Massachusetts devotes more than 30 % of their income to rent as compared to one in five nationally.

Chris Herbert, managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, said, “They’re getting squeezed. More or less, this squeeze is happening across the country”.

It was found that the homeownership rose steadily during the 1990s, peaking at about 69 % of US households in 2004. But homeownership began to fall when the last housing boom turned to bust shortly after that.

The Harvard report noted that the historically low construction levels here and nationally are contributing to low inventories of homes for sale.

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