This report about the struggle millennials face in purchasing homes include numbers about how many young adults owned homes in the past:
Last year 32.3 percent of young people were homeowners, a slight increase from 2016 when it was 32.2 percent.
That’s still well below the 45 percent in 2005 and the peak of 55 percent in 1980.
While the report goes on to offer reasons why millennials have a hard time purchasing homes (short answer provided: student loans), the trend downward from 1980 is notable.
Or, perhaps we should think about it another way: perhaps 1980 was more unusual. This followed several decades of post-World War II prosperity and was before housing values rose significantly in many places. There was plenty of inequality but homeownership was within the reach of just over half of people just starting adult lives. Will we ever reach those levels again?