Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, June 2, 2023

Homeownership rates increase across generations

As the home building industry celebrates National Homeownership Month in June, new data shows homeownership rates among adults in all age groups increased compared to last year.

The Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey reported the U.S. homeownership rate at 66% in the first quarter of 2023, amid a persistently tight housing supply.

A closer look at the data shows that homeownership rates among households aged 55-64 registered the largest gains among all groups, followed by households aged 45-54. Adults 35 years old or younger also experienced a modest increase in homeownership.

It’s no surprise that all age groups are making homeownership a priority. Homes are a primary source of net worth for many Americans. The most recent edition of the Survey of Consumer Finances showed that a primary residence is the largest asset for households.

One of the barriers to homeownership is affordability. Homebuilders recognize the increasing demand for affordable entry-level homes. However, rising construction costs and limited lot availability create significant challenges to building smaller, single-family detached homes that are affordable to first-time buyers and cost-effective for builders.

To help overcome these challenges, homebuilders, many of which are small businesses and live in our community, continue to advocate for housing affordability so all families can achieve the American Dream of homeownership.

Buyers also might find that some homebuilders have arranged favorable financing for their customers or offer financial incentives.

When it comes to affordability, qualifying for a mortgage and saving up for a downpayment is another obstacle to homeownership. To help address these concerns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – through the Federal Housing Administration – offer low down payment mortgage programs geared primarily toward the first-time homebuyer market. These lenders offer mortgages with 3% down payments, allowing more creditworthy borrowers who lack the funds for a large down payment to obtain a home mortgage.

However, to ensure that the financing process goes smoothly, buyers should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage and having a financing commitment in place before shopping for a new home.

Jessica Upshaw with The J Lending Team at Highlands Residential Mortgage says, “Whether it’s your first time or fifth time buying, we specialize in helping homebuyers find the best loan option for their budget, making the dream of home ownership attainable and affordable.”

To learn more about the benefits of homeownership or find local professionals to help purchase your new home, check out the member directory of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga.