Great news for landlords.
Contrary to the longstanding alleged American dream, dramatically fewer Americans are owning their own home. Home ownership rates nationally peaked in 2007 at 73%. Today, they’ve plummeted to 63%, a dramatic shift involving many billions of dollars. This has occurred in all regions and income groups across the country.
Except among senior citizens. According to a new Gallup Poll, the percentage of seniors owning their own home in that crowd actually increased, to 82%. Many of them may be at or near the end of long-term mortgages or have downsized and paid cash for a smaller place. Some have also benefited from state and federal government support programs.
Additionally, changing work patterns have helped sustain senior home ownership. More Americans over 65 are working, either by choice or necessity, enabling monthly mortgage payments.
Gallup notes the percentage of older Americans with low incomes below $30,000 a year has dropped significantly in recent years from 46% in 2009 to just 33% today, while holding steady in other age cohorts.
Low- and middle income citizens, young people and those living in the West experienced above average drops in ownership. Even among those with incomes over $100,000 home ownership rates have dropped, now below 90%.
Home ownership among those in the age group 18 to 29 dropped from 36% to 26%, those aged 30 to 49 down from 73% to 63%, those 50 to 64 down from 84% to 77%. Reasons vary but among millennials, for instance, marriage is coming at a later age, also postponing accumulation of the joint financial income and wherewithal for life’s largest single investment.
These poll results were based on Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance survey, conducted each April from 2001 to 2017 with a combined sample of 16,315 random adults including 7,110 interviews between 2001 and 2009 and 9,205 interviews between 2010 and 2017.