Homeownership Remains Primary Driver of Household Wealth


Homeownership increased from a low of 63.7% in 2016 to 64.9% in 2019, and the primary residence continued to be the largest asset on the balance sheets of households in 2019, according to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF).

The primary residence was the largest asset among households across various age groups — with the exception of the 55-64 demographic, where the primary residence and business interests were equally dominant assets. It was also the largest asset across racial and ethnic demographics, with the primary residence accounting for more than 30% of household wealth for non-white and Hispanic/Latino households.

Home owners had a median net worth of $255,000 — more than 40 times the median net worth of renters ($6,300), which reflects both the value of homeownership and the difficulty to obtain homeownership. The median value of the primary residence was $185,000 for home owners under the age of 35, then jumped to $250,000 for home owners between the ages of 35 and 54 before declining again for older demographics.

NAHB Economist Fan-Yu Kuo delves further into the survey data in this Eye on Housing post.

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