Homeownership: Back To Old '99


Bloomberg's Kathleen M. Howley breaks out numbers on the declining rate of homeownership in these here United States:

The number of vacant properties, including foreclosures, residences for sale and vacation homes, rose from 18.6 million in the year-earlier quarter, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report today. The ownership rate, meaning households that own their own residence, was 66.9 percent, the lowest since 1999…

The share of homes empty and for sale, known as the vacancy rate, was 2.5 percent, matching the year-earlier period and down from 2.6 percent in the first quarter, the Census Bureau said. The homeownership rate fell from 67.1 percent in the first quarter, the third straight decline. The rate reached a record high of 69.2 percent in the second and fourth quarters of 2004.

U.S. Census Bureau original [pdf]

There is another part of this story. While the rate of homeownership has been falling since 2005, the rate of so-called real homeownership—the percentage of equity Americans have in their homes—has been declining since the 1950s. So it's true that 60+ percent of Americans still have title to a house, but what they actually own is a bigger pile of debt (relative to the pile of house).

The decline in apparent home ownership may be a step in the right direction for the American people, one that is being taken despite the desperate machinations of Republocrats who make tragic common cause on the goal of boosting homeownership by any means necessary.