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Is Homeownership Losing Out to Renting?

homeownershipOne of the casualties of homeownership in a market defined by escalating prices and stingy inventory seems to be the American family. The U. S Census shows that as of 2016 the number of families with minor children was up to 14.3 million. A decade earlier, that number was 12.4 million.

According to a report by RentCafe, renters with children in the U.S. increased by 16 percent, while homeownership has decreased by 14 percent in the 10-year period between 2006 and 2016. And that holds true across the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

In raw math, the number of families who own dropped to 22 million in 2016. That's down from almost 26 million in 2006, and that represents 29 percent of owner households nationally, according to the report.

“These statistics show the tremendous effects of this relatively short but eventful period of time on American families,” the report states. “These 3.6 million fewer owner households are families who lost their homes in foreclosures or otherwise, they are young families who are unable to overcome the current financial barriers to become homeowners, and they are also homeowners whose children grew up and no longer fall into this category.”

Other contributing factors to consider are the declining birthrate in the U.S., people having children later in life, and the soaring cost of raising a child, according to the report.

The highest jumps in renting families happened in Southern and Southwestern metropolitan cities, mainly Charlotte, Atlanta, Phoenix, Houston, and Miami. Charlotte saw a 73 percent surge in families with kids who rent their home, and an increase of 21 percent in homeowner families with kids, the report found. Atlanta saw a 51 percent jump in the number of renter families and an 11 percent drop in homeowner families. Phoenix saw renting families increased by 42 percent while those who own their home decreased by 12 percent.

On the flip side, the smallest changes in renter families were not confined to geographic regions. Pittsburgh saw the number of renter-occupied households with children stagnate over the 10-year period. Meanwhile, the number of owner families in Los Angeles dropped 13 percent, as owner families dropped 22 percent.

According to the report, Detroit, Riverside, Miami, and Las Vegas also lost the most homeowner families with children, registering decreases of more than 20 percent.

“In terms of numerical changes,” the report stated, “Houston metro saw the largest increase in renter families with children among the 30 largest metros, 107,000 households, while Los Angeles metro saw the largest decrease in homeowner families with children, 188,000 households.”

About Author: Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.
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