The number of owner occupied households has been lower-than-normal for several years. Following the housing crash, homeownership took a hit and, for many years afterward, trailed behind rental households in terms of growth. In short, more people were choosing to rent and the overall homeownership rate began a decade long retreat from its all-time high set in 2004. But, though the homeownership rate fell, Americans still consistently expressed a desire to own their own home. That there was a large majority of people who said they wanted to buy but were holding off meant, one day, that pent-up demand would result in a spike in home buyers. Now, according to new numbers from the Census Bureau’s Homeownership and Vacancy Survey, owner occupied households grew faster than rental households for the first time in 11 years during the first quarter of this year. This is significant because it may signal that more Americans are finally realizing their dream and becoming homeowners. Though encouraging, however, the uptick had little effect on the overall homeownership rate, which was unchanged from the previous quarter and has been relatively flat for a while. More here.

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