During Homeownership Month, NAR is sharing how REALTORS® help the millions of Americans who aspire to join the nation's 85 million property owners. 

Homeownership builds financial security and can drastically help people improve their net worth. The net worth of a typical homeowner is nearly 40 times the net worth of a non-owner. Home equity and retirement accounts represent over 60% of households’ net worth. 

In the last decade, middle-income homeowners have accumulated $122,000 in wealth due to price appreciation alone. 

However, a historic 50-year record shortage of affordable homes available for purchase has severely limited access to the residential real estate market. 

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 280,000 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%.

Four facts about homeownership with illustrations