Homeownership Rate By Age

Last Updated: November 14, 2021

Report Highlights. The average homeowner is 56 years old; homeowners have an all-time high median age of 57 years.

  • Among new homeowners who have been in their home for less than 3 years, the average age is 46 years; the median age is 42.
  • 65- to 70-year-olds have the highest homeownership rate among all age groups at 78.6%.
  • The median age among homeowners has increased 11.8% since 2003.
  • 56.9% of homeowners aged 30 to 34 years old have been in their home for 3 years or less.

Doughnut Chart: Homeownership Among Age Groups among all current homeowners, 0.81% under 25, 3.10% 25 to 29, 5.91% 30 to 34, 15.67% 35 to 44, 19.04% 45 to 54, 23.31% 55 to 64 years, 18.49% 65 to 74 years, and 13.58% 75 years and older

Homeownership & Age Groups
Age Range (Years) % of Homeowners % of Age Group
Under 25 0.8% 14.3%
25 – 29 3.1% 30.8%
30 – 34 5.9% 46.5%
35 – 44 15.7% 58.6%
45 – 54 19.0% 67.5%
55 – 64 23.4% 73.9%
65 – 74 18.5% 78.9%
75+ 13.6% 76.6%

Age Groups & Homeownership

Homeownership rates more than double between the ages of 25 and 29 years old, and 65- to 74-year-olds are the most likely to be homeowners.

  • The average homeowner is 56 years old.
  • 23.4% of homeowners are between the ages of 55 and 64 years old.
  • Homeowners between the ages of 55 and 64 live in their homes for an average of 17 years.
  • 55- to 64-year-olds have a 73.9% homeownership rate.
  • 65- to 74-year-olds have the highest homeownership rate among all age groups at 78.9%.
  • 35- to 44-year-olds are 26.0% more likely to own their home than 30- to 34-year-olds.
  • 30- to 34-year-olds are 51.0% more likely to own their home than 25- to 29-year-olds.
  • 32.8% of homeowners aged 30 to 34 years have a 4-year or bachelor’s degree.
  • 29.1% of homeowners aged 35 to 44 years have a bachelor’s degree.
  • 27.7% of homeowners aged 45 to 54 years have a bachelor’s degree.
  • 35- to 44-year-old homeowners are the most highly educated, with 19.6% having earned a graduate or profesional degree.

Historical Age Groups Among Homeowners from 1993, 2001, 2009, and 2019

Historical Homeownership by Age

While homeownership has declined among all age groups, the degree of that decline gets smaller as homeowners age.

  • The age of the average homeowner increased 6 years or 11.8% between 2003 and 2019 for an average annual increase of 0.7%.
  • From 1985 to 2003, the median age among homeowners was 51 years.
  • From 2005 to 2009, the median age was 52 years.
  • In 2011, the median age was 54 years, increasing to 55 by 2013 and 56 by 2015.
  • The share of homeowners who are aged 55 to 64 years increased 47.2% from 1993 to 2019 for an average annual increase of 1.8%.
  • Homeowners aged 75 years and older increased 28.3% for an average annual increase of 1.1%.
  • Meanwhile, the rate of homeowners aged 65 to 74 years increased 22.5% for an average annual increase of 0.9%.
  • Also among homeowners during this period from 1993 to 2019, the rate of age groups declined:
    • 0.6% for 45- to 54-year-old homeowners.
    • 32.3% for 35- to 44-year-olds.
    • 34.0% for 25- to 29-year-olds.
    • 20.0% for less than 25 years.
Historical Homeownership Among Age Groups
Age Range Homeownership Rate Change 1993 – 2009 Homeownership Rate Change 2009 – 2019
Under 25 +67.1% -32.2%
25 – 29 +17.9% -25.0%
30 – 34 +6.4% -15.2%
35 – 44 +4.4% -14.1%
45 – 54 -0.1% -10.6%
55 – 64 +0.1% -8.4%
65 – 74 +1.7% -4.0%
75+ +7.1% -1.2%
All Age Groups +5.7% -6.3%

Analysis of Homeownership Among Age Groups

Generally, the longer a homeowner remains in their home, the more equity and protection they have. Though older homeowners haven’t necessarily remained in the same home for all of their homeowning years, older age groups are more likely to have an average tenure that is longer than their younger counterparts. 14.2% of 65- to 74-year-old homeowners have lived in their homes for at least 40 years. These very long-term homeowners have had more opportunities to build equity than new homeowners. This extra financial protection may have saved many of them from losing their homes in the Great Recession.

Furthermore, younger potential homeowners have spent much of their adult lives in periods of economic uncertainty while the average worker’s earnings steadily lost value with inflation and reduced benefits. These financial struggles, coupled with greater amounts of student loan debt, may deter potential homeowners from buying. Even if they are eligible for a home loan, the prospect of taking on greater debt can be intimidating.

If consumers could choose, most would prefer to own a home or have the option available to them in the future. Over 70% of prospective homeowners of all ages have consistently indicated homeownership is part of their dream. However, younger generations are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the idea of homeownership. The percentage reporting homeownership as a goal declined from 80% in 2015 to 71% in 2018.

The last decade also saw an increased number of adults living with their parents. These individuals were usually not counted in studies as homeowners or renters. If this growing segment of the population had been included in surveys, homeownership rates in the United States might have been even lower.

Sources

  1. U.S. Census Bureau (Census), American Housing Survey Data Tables
  2. Census, American Housing Survey 2009 National Summary Report and Tables
  3. Census, American Housing Survey for the United States: 2001 (Current Housing Reports)
  4. Census, American Housing Survey for the United States in 1993: Current Housing Reports
  5. Census Data Tables
  6. Equity Inequality: The Differing Impact of the Boom and Bust on Millennial, Gen X and Older Homeowners
  7. Negative Equity in the United States
  8. The Impact of the Tech Boom on Housing
  9. As Housing Trends Shift, So Does Renter, Buyer and Seller Sentiment