Homeownership Rate Holds Steady at Decade Low

November 2, 2010 No Comments »

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The homeownership rate held steady at 66.9 percent during the third quarter, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.

It was 0.7 percentage points lower than the 67.6 percent rate seen in the third quarter of 2009, but unchanged from the second quarter.

That’s the same level seen back in 1999, before the homebuilders went nuts and creative loan programs like the option arm began to “increase” homeownership.

Remember, subprime lending didn’t increase homeownership, and many of those borrowers that elected to put nothing down with the help of giant second mortgages are now in default.

Homeownership Decline Felt More by Minorities

By race/ethnicity, the homeownership rate has fallen disproportionately.

For white homeowners, it fell from 75.3 percent in the first quarter of 2007 to 74.7 percent last quarter.

That compares to a 48 percent to 45 percent drop for Black homeowners during the same period, and a 50.1 percent to 47 percent decline for Hispanic homeowners.

Roughly 85.6 percent of the housing units in the United States were occupied and 14.4 percent were vacant during the third quarter.

National vacancy rates were 10.3 percent for rental housing and 2.5 percent for homeowner housing, compared to 11.1 percent and 2.6 percent a year earlier, respectively.

Owner-occupied housing units made up 57.3 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 28.3 percent of inventory.

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