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Factoids offer brief snapshots of current topics pertinent to the Furniture industry based on our on-going research. Increase your grasp of current trends, consumer attitudes, and shifts within the industry through solid statistics and concise insight.

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The Changing Profile of Renter vs. Owner Percent of Owner and Renter Occupied Housing Units in 2017 by Year Structure Built

For many in pursuit of homeownership and those already there, the Great Recession forced the American tradition of owning a home aside and renting became the viable alternative. Now safely out of the recession, many renters are choosing to stay put or better yet, keep the freedom to move. This is the final factoid in a series of five factoids, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey, to explore the changing profiles of owners and renters. 

Not only is limited new housing construction stifling potential home buyers, the aging of current housing could pose a problem in the years to come. The housing industry is facing a future where over half of all owner and renter occupied units are approaching 40 years old. Between 2000 and 2009 new housing construction began to diminish and completely stall due to the market crash. Although renter-occupied units were in high demand during and after the Great Recession, apartment construction failed to pick up and was only 10.9 percent of all units during the same time period. Since the recession ended in 2009, only 5.1 percent of all owner-occupied homes and 5.6 percent of all renter units have been newly built.

The combination of Millennials slow to form households (renting or buying) and Boomers aging rapidly has significant implications on the furniture industry going forward. With the job market improvements, it appears that though they have a lot of catching up to do, Millennials are poised to make their mark on the home furnishings industry just as the Baby Boomers will be lessening their hold over the next 10 years. There are some signs many will retreat to the suburbs like their parents to own homes and raise families. Others, whether or not they delay marriage, have grown to like the freedom and convenience of apartment living and are a growing segment. Both groups will challenge the marketing efforts of retailers in the future.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey 1-year estimates

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