Home ownership is now at the lowest rate in 13 years, and it isn't moving much, despite the recovery in home prices. More disturbing, however, is the dramatic drop in household formation.
Household formation—when a person who lives with someone else (parents, roommates, etc.) moves into another housing unit on his or her own, creating a new household—has averaged around 1 million per year historically as the U.S. population grows. In the early part of this century, when housing was just beginning its boom, it jumped by nearly 2 million. In the third quarter of this year, just 380,000 new households were formed, according to the U.S. Census.