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Homeownership Rates Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

According to the Realtor.com residential listings database, for the month of September the median listing price of all single-family homes sold during the month was $427,250, off from highs hit earlier this year. While many homebuyers in the market have been sidelined by high prices, in the third quarter of 2022, the national homeownership rate increased to 66%, 0.6% higher than the third quarter of 2021. 

According to Realtor.com Economic Data Analyst Hannah Jones, home prices also fell from this summer's peak, but the decreases recorded fall within the realm of typical seasonal patterns. But even with the declines, buyers felt little relief as rates started the quarter at 5.3% and ended the quarter at 6.7% while the median listing price fell a total of $15,000 during the quarter. 

As a result, many would-be buyers found the market untenable and continued the trend of opting out until market conditions are more favorable. The homeownership rate ticked up to the highest level since the third quarter of 2020, illustrating how some aspiring homeowners are finding success despite rising affordability challenges and how many existing homeowners are opting to stay put. 

The homeowner vacancy rate came up slightly to 0.9% from the second quarter’s all-time low of 0.8%, as the ongoing housing shortage continued to drive high occupancy. 

The rental vacancy rate, however, increased by 0.4 percentage points compared to the second quarter’s low, reaching 6.0% as the rental market adjusts to the changing housing landscape. 

“While the price of buying a home climbed through the third quarter, would-be buyers pivoted towards renting and other housing arrangements,” Jones said. “The housing market showed adjustments to decreased buyer demand as sellers pulled back on new listings. Housing demand remained strong in affordable markets as buyers focused their attention on areas that were not yet out of reach.” 

“The third quarter’s Emerging Housing Markets Index indicated the popularity of markets with strong local economies and relatively low home prices,” Jones concluded. “These small increases in the homeowner and rental vacancy rates indicate progress towards a healthier, more balanced housing market that may offer buyers and renters relief.“ 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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