Americans are a moving people, much more mobile than folks in other lands. For instance, census figures show that one of every five Americans moves each year.
In 1974, according to the annual housing survey conducted by the Census Bureau, one-third of the moving population of the U.S. moved into their own houses. And the largest group among husband-wife families moving into owner-occupied dwellings was between 25 and 34 years in age. But most persons in that age group remained tenants in rental housing.
However, the Census figures also showed that of husband-wife families of all age groups, 54.9 per cent owned houses in 1950 as compared with 75.1 percent in 1974. That has caused some housing observers to comment that the nation's young families are managing to buy homes even though the current high prices of both new and sale houses might indicate that young couples are being priced out of the market.
For instance, a spokesman for the research department of the Mortgage Bankers Association of American recently cited statistic showing that more than 2 million persons under age 35 became home owners since 1970.
It was also pointed out that persons who moved from one owner-occupied house to another are likely to upgrade their living.
Meanwhile, the post-World War II baby boom now is playing a significant role in the housing demand. In recently years that maturing baby crop strengthened the demand for rental units. But many members of that generation have formed households and families and are choosing to own their own houses. Thus, the proportion of owners to renters can be expected to increase as this group grows older.
However, since that generation is having fewer children than did their parents, it is not likely that the will choose the same type of housing in which they grew up. Many are buying and fixing up older townhouses in cities and others are buying new condominium apartments and small but fairly expensive new townhouses.
Another comment came from Professional Builder magazine: "For many years, the number of young husband-wife families has been increasing both as a proportion of all families and in absolute numbers. But contrary to popular inference from housing price inflation, the proportion of husband-wife families with heads under 35 years of age that own their own homes has been also been increasing."