posted an interesting statement by an Oregon government economist on housing this week. The economist explained the shift to renting away from buying that has occurred over the past decade. His analysis focused on household finances, demography, and preferences – all of which have supported renter-market growth in recent years. (Homeownership is at a multi-decade low.)

This same economist also said that new data point to a change. It appears that the pendulum could swing back to ownership, and it could swing back sooner than conventional opinion expects.

A drop-off in renting momentum is one reason. The number of renters ticked up 0.1% nationwide last year. That’s still a gain for renting, but the year-over-year change was minimal compared to previous years. Renting momentum has slowed considerably. This could indicate that 2015 was the peak year for renting. What’s more, demography would support that contention.

The 30-to-39 age group is an important home-buying group. This age group will increase significantly over the next 10 years. Just as important, this group is growing in affluence. More of them have gained the financial wherewithal to buy a home. Just as important, they want to buy a home. Surveys from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other sources continually show that the vast majority of people, including those populating the younger generations, aspire to own a home. 

With this data in mind, we see no reason housing sales and single-family construction shouldn’t continue to trend higher in the coming years.

Information provided by Jessica Regan.

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