The national housing market has now regained enough momentum to provide an engine of growth for the US economy, according to the latest The State of the Nation’s Housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Robust rental demand continues to drive the housing expansion, and sales, prices, and new construction of single-family homes are on the rise. Even more important, income growth has picked up, particularly among the huge millennial population that is poised to form millions of new households over the coming decade, according to the report.
At the same time, however, several obstacles continue to hamper the housing recovery—in particular, the lingering pressures on homeownership, the eroding affordability of rental housing, and the growing concentration of poverty.
The national homeownership rate has been on an unprecedented 10-year downtrend, sliding to just 63.7 percent in 2015, the center says.
“Tight mortgage credit, the decade-long falloff in incomes that is only now ending, and a limited supply of homes for sale are all keeping households — especially first-time buyers — on the sidelines. And even though a rebound in home prices has helped to reduce the number of underwater owners, the large backlog of foreclosures is still a serious drag on homeownership,” Chris Herbert, the center’s managing director for housing studies, said in a statement.
For information, visit www.jchs.harvard.edu.