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September 2017

Homeownership rises from 50-year low

An additional 1.2 million households became homeowners in the past year, boosting the U.S. rate from a 50-year low. For the second quarter the rate was 63.7 percent, a full percentage point gain from a year ago, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, hailed the reversal of the sharp downward trend that dates to the beginning of the Great Recession as "clearly good news," but tempered it by noting the surge in renter households.

"Let's keep it in perspective," Yun stated, noting renter households have risen by 8 million compared to a decade ago. "So it is still the case that the massive $7 trillion in housing wealth gains from the cyclical low point has been accumulated by a fewer number of families in America. Further advances in homeownership are required to strengthen and broaden the middle class," he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.