Homeownership Rate Lowest Since 1999

July 27, 2010 No Comments »

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The seasonally adjusted homeownership rate fell to its lowest point since 1999 in the second quarter, according to a report from the Census Bureau.

It slipped to 66.9 percent last quarter, down from 67.2 percent in the first quarter and 67.4 percent a year ago.

It peaked at 69.2 percent in the first quarter of 2005, as high-risk affordability loan programs like the option arm and zero down financing festered.

A year or so later, the mortgage crisis set in and homeownership rates have dropped ever since, thanks in part to unaffordable mortgage payments and resulting foreclosures.

Homeownership rates were highest in the Midwest (70.8 percent) and lowest in the hard-hit West (61.4 percent) during the second quarter.

“The homeownership rates in the South and West were lower than a year ago, while rates in the Northeast and Midwest were not statistically different from their corresponding second quarter 2009 rates,” the report said.

Roughly 85.6 percent of all housing units in the United States were occupied in the second quarter, while 14.4 percent, or 18.9 million homes, sat empty.

Vacant units that were held off the market comprised of 5.4 percent of the total housing stock.

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

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