After half a decade from the bottom of the housing bust, the U.S. homeownership rate still remains stuck at a current 50-year low. According to a recent report from Zillow, some attribute the low homeownership rate to more Americans delaying major life decisions that typically precede buying a home, like getting married and starting families. Still others blame rising rents and home values for making it difficult to save enough to buy a home.
Zillow reports that as the adult population ages longer, so do renters and homeowners. Renters in the United States in particular have steadily gotten older, and this could suggest that more Americans who turned to renting when first starting out are staying renters longer, either because of financial constraints or simply lifestyle choices that preclude the need to own a home. Additionally, Zillow says this this speaks nothing to the fact that many previously foreclosed-upon homeowners are legally prohibited from purchasing a home for up to seven years after foreclosure, even if they could afford to buy another home today. This potentially locks them out of the market for years to come.
In recent release from Fannie Mae, it was found that more Americans have been creating shared households in which parents, children, grandparents, or other extended family live together in a home and contribute to rent or mortgage. The release finds that extended income households have particular strengths that can be important to lenders. According to Fannie Mae, these households stay together when faced with hardships or when times get tough and are therefore more likely to continue to pay their mortgage, even when house values decline. This is attributed to their incomes being more consistent because their earnings come from multiple sources.