By IMFBlog

August 21, 2017

House for sale: young adults in the UK, US, and Europe have experienced declining home ownership rates (photo: Chris Helgren/Reuters/Newscom).

In some countries, owning a home is a rite of passage: a symbol of a stable life and a sound investment.

However young adults in the United Kingdom, United States, and Europe have experienced declining home ownership rates.

Our chart of the week, drawn from research by Lisa Dettling and Joanne W. Hsu, senior economists at the US Federal Reserve, in the June issue of Finance & Development magazine , shows that millennial home ownership rates are nearly 10 percent lower than those of their baby boomer and Generation X counterparts of the same age.



For millennials who have purchased a home, net housing wealth—the value of the home, minus mortgage debt—is about the same as that of their baby boomer parents at the same age.

It remains to be seen if millennials are delaying home purchases or forgoing home ownership all together. New research suggests barriers to financing a home, such as borrowing constraints, are at least partially to blame for falling home ownership rates and rising co-residence rates.

Whether these barriers will ease in the future is unknown. However, a recent study in the UK finds that groups experiencing low home ownership rates at age 30 tend to catch up later in life.

To read more research and find data on housing markets around the world, check out the IMF’s Global Housing Watch .

You can also read more blogs about global house prices and our recent chart of the week on the housing price boom in Norway .