ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Fed's Community Development department has released a new online publication featuring analysis from St. Louis Fed economist and assistant vice president Bill Emmons as part of its quarterly Housing Market Conditions report. The inaugural issue of "Housing Market Perspectives – On the Level with Bill Emmons," looks at the question of why home ownership rates in the U.S. are at their lowest levels since 1968, despite historically low mortgage rates and rising employment.
Emmons noted the following improvements in the U.S. housing market in 2015:
Nonetheless, amidst these improvements, "one important gauge of housing conditions continued to fall in 2015—the homeownership rate," Emmons said."After peaking in 2004 at 69 percent, the national homeownership rate declined in 2015 to 63.7 percent.
“This marks the 11th consecutive year of decline and brings the homeownership rate back to the level it first reached in 1968,” he added.
To help explain why homeownership has dropped to these levels, Emmons discussed two possible scenarios, the "return-to-normal" scenario and the "retreat-from homeownership" scenario.
"Perhaps there are elements of both explanations at work," he said. "In any case, it appears unlikely that the U.S. homeownership rate will return to its historic peak of 69 percent anytime soon."
The new publication complements the data and heat maps updated each quarter as part of its Housing Market Conditions report that shows the latest housing market data for the U.S. and states within the St. Louis Fed's Eighth District.
Housing Market Perspectives can be found on the St. Louis Fed's website.
The St. Louis Fed's quarterly Housing Market Conditions report provides a snapshot of conditions in the U.S. and in the Federal Reserve's Eighth District states via:
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