The U.S. homeownership rate jumped to the highest since 2008, signaling that the housing boom under way before the pandemic has only accelerated.
The rate was 67.9 per cent in the second quarter, according to a Census Bureau report Tuesday. It was the fourth straight increase, climbing from 65.3 per cent in the previous three months.
The housing market has defied expectations, rebounding strongly after a pause starting in March when most U.S. businesses shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19. Americans with jobs have been eager to move away from densely packed cities and apartment buildings, and the drop in borrowing costs to a record low in the quarter widened the pool of potential buyers.
“Mortgage rates are the icing on the cake for households that were thinking about buying,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for Haus, a co-investment platform for homebuyers. “They found an unexpected opportunity during the worst economic downturn America has seen since the Great Depression.”