Top 5 Barriers to Owning a Home in the U.S.

A new report analyzes five key hurdles that are keeping homeownership levels stubbornly depressed, despite improving job markets and historically low mortgage rates.

Top 5 Barriers to Owning a Home in the U.S.

BERKELEY, Calif. — The national homeownership rate in the United States dropped from a peak of 69% in 2004 to an average of 63.6% in the first quarter of 2017, remaining near 50-year lows. Despite steadily improving job markets and historically low mortgage rates, significant barriers to homeownership persist.

If the mortgage availability alone returned to a more normalized level in 2016, more than 900,000 additional home purchase mortgages would have been issued, according to a newly released report (“Hurdles to Homeownership: Understanding the Barriers”) by Rosen Consulting Group (RCG) in collaboration with Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

Why is homeownership lagging in the U.S.? Because of these five reasons.

“Ten years after the Great Recession, major barriers remain for households trying to buy a home. Limited mortgage availability and excessive bank regulation restricts nearly a million households from purchasing homes each year,” says Ken Rosen, chairman of RCG and UC Berkeley’s Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics. “Many households now suffer from post-foreclosure stress disorder, an altered perception of the financial risks associated with homeownership. Moving forward, addressing these challenges will be critical to helping millions of households attain the American Dream.”

As low homeownership rates persist, particularly for minority households and younger families, a tight mortgage credit environment, the growing burden of student debt, and shifts in the perception of risks associated with buying a home, prevent millions of homebuyers from becoming homeowners. Moreover, these challenges are compounded by increasing cost of living, rising rents and a dramatic lack of new housing supply, a result of the many hurdles faced by homebuilders.

Check out the following gallery for a quick look at the top five reasons why homeownership rates in the U.S. remain stubbornly low.

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Commercial Integrator + Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add to your bottom line.

A FREE subscription to the top resource for security and integration industry will prove to be invaluable.

Subscribe Today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters