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Missed housing payments in the US

Back in April, the US Census Bureau started running weekly surveys in order to try and assess how COVID-19 was impacting people’s lives. They call this the “Household Pulse Survey.” They’re now up to week 12, with the latest data running up until July 21, 2020. Here’s some housing data that I think many of you will find interesting:

  • The July 1, 2019 population estimate for the US was 328,239,523, of which about 77.7% are persons 18 years or older.
  • One of the things that the survey looked at was the total population 18 years or older living in owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing. About 148 million people (~60%) identified as living in the former, about 78 million (~29%) identified as living in the latter, and about 27 million people (~11%) did not report their tenure. This seems to jibe with point number one and the overall home ownership rate in the US.
  • For the owners, 1/3 reported to own their home “free and clear” of a mortgage and about 58% said that they made last month’s mortgage payment. So about 91% of owners were seemingly okay in June. The remaining ~9% were people who either got a mortgage payment deferral, or simply didn’t pay. About 0.5% did not report.
  • For the renters, about 5% reported to be living in a home with free rent and about 75% said that they made last month’s rental payment. Over 18% said that they missed last month’s rent and just over 2% said that they had their rent deferred. The remaining 1% or so are people who simply did not report.
  • Combining both tenures, it looks like about 12.5% to 13% of respondents had a bit of a problem paying their housing costs last month. (I’m giving a range, because presumably the “did not report” crowd could go either way.) I don’t know about you, but this number doesn’t seem all that shocking to me.

If you would like to download a copy of all of the survey results, click here.

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