In the first quarter, 66.5% of Americans owned homes, down from 67.2% a year earlier, the Census Bureau reported. The rate last hit this level in 1998.
During the boom, when easy credit made mortgages available with less regard for income or ability to pay, the ownership rate surged to a record 69.2% in 2004′s second and fourth quarters and stayed near that level until the recession deepened.
Now, some industry watchers expect the rate to slip below 65%. Housing experts say each 1% decline in the home ownership rate represents the movement of one million households to rentals. Some people can’t buy homes, while others just don’t want to.
Friday, May 06, 2011
U.S. home-ownership rate continues to decline
After rising to an all-time high during the upside of the bubble, America's home-ownership rate is now back down to where it was in 1998: