The homeownership rate has been declining steadily, Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in an interview with HousingWire.
The rate has returned to what it was 20 years ago and is more severe for younger age groups, he explained.
And here's the proof: According to the 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, for the 10th consecutive year, the homeownership rate in 2014 dropped and is off 0.6 percentage point to 64.5%.
The good news is Nothaft explained that over the next few years, the homeownership rate will start to bottom out and then begin to stabilize and turnaround.
One of the biggest challenges, Nothaft points out, is the significant demographic change that’s been happening over the past 20/30 years. Household growth, it should be noted, over the next decade is expected to be highest among minorities.
As result, he asked the question, “What policies can we put in place in the lending or labor market to help narrow that homeownership gap and help support homeownership in the long term?”
“The challenge for policymakers and the industry is how to reach out to that community that has had historically low homeownership rates and enable them to have better access to mortgage finance,” Nothaft said.
This news comes at the same time as the new J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting more effective national housing policy, which launched its inaugural initiative to bring housing policy issues to the forefront as the 2016 presidential race gets underway.
The Foundation wants to bring the "silent" housing crisis of rising rents and diminished access to homeownership into the national conversation.