Posted on Wednesday, December 1, 2010
By Danielle Hale, Research Economist
• In the past 12 years, the net worth of the typical home owner has ranged between 31 and 46 times that of the net worth of the typical renter.
• Home owner equity is a substantial component of home owner wealth. The Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, conducted once every three years, provides a snapshot of family income and net worth along with basic demographic details and more detailed information on where families keep the wealth they have accumulated.
• The most recent survey, concluded in 2007, offers a picture of the situation before home price declines and the tumbling equities market hit household balance sheets. At that time, median home owners had well over $200,000 in net worth or 46 times that of the median renter who had just over $5,000. Furthermore, $200,000 was the median value of owners’ homes.
• Looking at aggregate data, the National Association of Realtors® estimated the impact for renter and home owner households through mid-2010 taking home price and stock market performance into account. The result suggests that despite declines in equity and housing markets, homeowners have a net worth orders of magnitude greater than renters.
• How has the recovery of the stock market and a sluggish housing market affected owners and renters? For the first time ever, the Federal Reserve resurveyed the 2007 participants in 2009 to directly measure how the crisis and recession affected their finances. These results are expected later this year.