Home Ownership Drops to 19-Year Low

Home ownership in the U.S. hit a peak in 2005 and began a long slide in 2007 leading into the recession. Currently home ownership is at its lowest rate in 19 years.

The Census Bureau released a report Tuesday showing that home ownership is down. The seasonally adjusted home ownership rate in the first quarter of 2014 was 65.0 percent. Though only a slight drop from the 65.1% rate the Census reported for most of last year, it's officially the lowest rate since the second quarter of 1995.

Home ownership has twice surpassed 69%, once in 2004 and once more in 2005. Those were the highest (seasonally adjusted) rates recorded since 1980. Starting in 2007 the rate began to drop and has continued to do so ever since.

With home ownership down, the availability of rental space has tightened. The rental vacancy rate has dropped from 11% in mid-2009 to 8.3% in the first quarter of this year. That's up one tenth since the final quarter of last year. The rental vacancy rate was below 8% for most of the 1990s and even lower during the 1980s.


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