Rising wages, loosening credit standards and demographic shifts are all creating momentum for owning rather than renting.
The homeownership rate rose from the prior year for the fifth consecutive quarter in 2018, according to U.S. Census data. It held steady at 64.2%, unchanged from the prior quarter and its highest level since 2014. The share of Americans who own
a home rose from the prior year, from 63.6% in the first quarter of 2017.
The home-ownership rate rose last year for the first time in 13 years. That marked a turning point in the recovery, during which home prices have risen sharply and credit standards were initially very tight, blocking many renters from buying homes.
The U.S. added 1.3 million owner households over the last year and lost 286,000 renter households. That could pose challenges for apartment landlords, who are bracing this year for one of the largest infusions of new rental supply in three decades.
Rising wages and looser credit standards have helped bolster demand for homes in the last year.
Demographics trends also increasingly favor home-ownership, as members of the large millennial generation are entering their early to mid 30s, when people typically marry, have children and purchase their first home.