Home Ownership Reaches 51-Year Low
UNDATED -- A disturbing trend is developing as the U.S. economy continues to emerge from the "Great Recession". The Census Bureau says households that owned a home in the second quarter of this year matched its lowest level in 51 years.
Chip Halbeck is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Housing Partnership -- a non-profit agency dedicated to improving housing conditions in Minnesota.
Halbeck says median incomes have dropped relative to inflation since 2000, meaning dollars aren't going as far as they used to. There's also a limited supply of affordable homes on the market and in new construction. Finally, new household formations are down since pre-recession levels.
In places like the tri-county area, Halbeck says the pinch is even greater as rental unit prices are increasing faster on average than the Twin Cities metro while incomes aren't keeping pace.
The trend appears to hit the millenial households (ages 18-34) the hardest. Many people in that demographic are balancing higher rent with heavy student loan debt.
The Census Bureau says just under 63% of households owned a home in the April-June quarter of this year, equaling the home ownership rate in 1965.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.