Number Of American Homeowners Has Fallen

Research shows that instead of buying a house, more Americans are choosing to rent

Number Of American Homeowners Has Fallen
September 5, 2016

Following the 2008 recession and the crash of the housing market, more Americans are renting rather than buying houses. This is according to a study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The study looked at trends in homeownership in Canada, Europe, and the United States, and how housing affected finances. The results show that fewer Americans are now homeowners.


In 2005, the number of households that rented rather than owned their home was nine million. By 2015, that number had skyrocketed, hitting 43 million. Part of this was due to the housing crash, where more than eight million people lost their homes. Many people were foreclosed upon, damaging their credit and leaving them unable to immediately buy another house. The recession also led to many other homeowners selling their houses and moving into smaller apartments, especially if they lost their jobs or took some sort of financial loss.

Most of those who rent are also low-income. The study categorises renters into five brackets, based on their income. Over half (55%) fell into the bracket for the lowest incomes. The average household that rented made less than $50,000 a year, while the average household that owned their home had a median income of $85,000.

The percentage of households that own their home has fallen from 69.1% in 2005 to 62.9% in 2015, a low that the housing industry has not seen since 1965.

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