During Homeownership Month, NAR is sharing how REALTORS® help the millions of Americans who aspire to join the nation's 83 million property owners.
Homeownership builds financial security. With 65.5% of Americans owning homes, the net worth of a typical homeowner is nearly 40 times the net worth of a non-owner.
The total value of owner-occupied housing rose by $8.2 trillion in the last decade, and the number of middle-income homeowners increased by nearly one million. The typical homeowner has accumulated more than $200,000 in housing wealth due to price appreciation.
However, a historic 50-year record shortage of affordable homes available for purchase has severely limited access to the residential real estate market.
Enabling more households to achieve sustainable homeownership earlier in life, and maintain that ownership throughout life, is crucial to narrowing the racial homeownership and housing wealth gaps.
A landmark report commissioned by NAR last year found the U.S. has developed an “underbuilding gap” of 5.5 million housing units over the last 20 years. This translates into a $4.4 trillion underinvestment in housing.
The housing shortage is constraining homeownership opportunities for too many Americans.
There are currently 165,000 homes listed for sale that middle-income families can afford to buy, a marked decline from 450,000 homes in 2019.
For middle-income households, there is only one affordable listing for every 125 households, a stark decrease from one listing for every 46 households in 2019.
Over the last two years, the percentage of single-family homes sold below $250,000 has plummeted from 47% of sales to 28%.
NAR is working closely with the Biden administration, Congress, and our industry partners on solutions to increase homeownership opportunities in America.
Our work over the past year with the Biden administration on comprehensive policy proposals is building consensus that decisive action is needed.
- The White House included a historic funding request for affordable housing in its fiscal year 2023 budget, released in March. This shows how seriously the White House views the supply crisis – further highlighted by the release of the President's Housing Supply Action Plan in May.
- NAR's Vice President of Policy Advocacy Bryan Greene joined Gene Sperling, American Rescue Plan Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the President, and Erika Poethig, Special Assistant to the President for Housing and Urban Policy, for an April event with Third Way on increasing housing availability, affordability, and accessibility for all.
- NAR held a Policy Forum on May 20 focused on reforms that can open the door to more homeowners. The event, co-hosted with the Urban Institute, included a discussion with James Wylie from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on expanding access to underserved markets through sustainable and equitable access to credit.
President Biden issued a Proclamation to mark National Homeownership Month 2022, saying in part: “… we recognize the importance of housing for all Americans. Whether owning, renting, or aspiring to do either, we renew our commitment to lowering costs and expanding access to safe, affordable homes that all Americans need and deserve. Together, we can ensure that every American has a safe place to call home."
In early May, thousands of REALTORS® descended on Washington, D.C., and hand-delivered to Congress a comprehensive list of actions they can take to improve access to homeownership, including cosponsoring the following legislation:
- Housing Supply and Affordability Act (S. 902, H.R. 2126): Creates a Local Housing Policy Grant program for cities, states, tribes, and regional associations to enact pro-housing policies at the local level.
- Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) (S. 98, H.R. 2143): Offers tax credits to attract private investment for building and rehabilitating owner-occupied homes, creating a pathway to neighborhood stability through sustainable homeownership. The NHIA would expand homeownership opportunities and provide a powerful incentive to build and rehabilitate 500,000 homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners over the next decade. The NHIA is intended to fill the gap in areas where it is often more expensive to develop or rehabilitate than appraisal values will support.
- GREATER Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act (H.R. 5041): Creates a grant within the Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program to incentivize public and private investment in abandoned and underutilized shopping malls. The Section 108 Program provides communities with a source of low-cost, long-term financing for economic and community development projects, which has proven effective in drawing additional investments into projects. This legislation would provide an additional grant of up to $5 million to communities with qualifying shopping centers to repurpose them for a range of uses, including the development of affordable housing.
- Revitalizing Downtowns Act (S. 2511, H.R. 4759): Creates a Qualified Office Conversion Tax Credit to convert unused office buildings into residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties.
- Housing Fairness Act (S. 769, H.R. 68): Reauthorizes and increases funding for HUD fair housing testing and enforcement programs.
With our industry partners, NAR is pursuing bold goals to substantially narrow racial and ethnic homeownership gaps:
- NAR is a founding member of the Black Homeownership Collaborative and supports the 3by30 initiative, with the goal of adding three million net new Black homeowners by 2030. The initiative's seven-point plan includes policy solutions such as down payment assistance, alternative credit, and special purpose credit programs.
- NAR advocates with our partners for greater affordable housing options – such as when NAR CEO Bob Goldberg stood with other housing leaders on the steps of the U.S Capitol last fall in support of affordable housing.
View more details on NAR's policy priorities.
The NAR Research team is a resource for REALTORS®, policymakers, and the public. Our skilled economists produce and analyze a wide range of data, providing the best resources and information on real estate.
- 2022 Obstacles to Home Buying: This report, conducted in partnership with Morning Consult, explores current obstacles to home buying broken down by race/ethnicity – with the lack of affordable homes ranking as the top obstacle holding back potential home buyers of all races.
- The Double Trouble of the Housing Market (February 2022): A report on the "two troubles" simultaneously impacting the housing market: record home prices and record low inventory, using data analyzing affordability at different income levels for all active inventory on the market and done in partnership with realtor.com®.
- A Snapshot of Race and Home Buying in America (February 2022): A report looking at homeownership trends, mortgage market, and affordability by race and home buyer demographics using data from the NAR 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
- Congressional District and State Reports: These reports provide data on housing and real estate in states and congressional districts.
- Analysis and Case Studies in Office-to-Housing Conversions: An analysis of how vacant office buildings are being converted into housing in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the commercial real estate market and the nationwide housing shortage.
These and many more reports, surveys, and data collections are available in the Research and Statistics section of nar.realtor.
NAR Housing Opportunity and Fair Housing Grants: State and local REALTOR® associations can apply for Housing Opportunity Grants to create or improve systems, programs, and policies that expand access to affordable housing; or Fair Housing Grants to offer education and activities that further the mission of fair housing throughout the year. Associations can also schedule one-on-one sessions via Zoom with NAR community outreach staff to brainstorm ways to use these grants to support advocacy efforts and advance homeownership in their communities.
Success Stories: Each month, REALTOR® Party Success Stories highlight state and local associations that achieved an advocacy win with the help of a REALTOR® Party grant or program. Check back throughout June for inspiration from associations that have used these resources to expand access to homeownership in their communities.
Drive With NAR Podcast: On June 6, REALTOR® Magazine will release a Homeownership Month-themed episode of the new Drive With NAR podcast focused on helping a new generation of homeowners enter the market.
That's Who We R: NAR's national advertising campaign demonstrates the REALTOR® difference – especially in helping more Americans achieve the dream of homeownership. Download advertising and social media assets.
Homeownership Month Social Graphics: Download these graphics and use them on your social channels to show support for Homeownership Month.