Homeownership rates in America
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the homeownership rate in the second quarter fell to 65.5 percent from 65.9 percent in the second quarter of 2011, marking a continued slipping of homeownership. The homeownership rate in the South was lower than the corresponding second quarter 2011 rate, while the rates in the Northeast, Midwest, and West were not statistically different.
The rental vacancy rate in the second quarter was 8.6 percent, improving from 9.2 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Additionally, the homeowner vacancy rate in the second quarter 2012 (2.1 percent) was lower than the second quarter 2011 rate (2.5 percent). Prices on homes continue to rise, lowering the inventory levels of homes for sale in America, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The U.S. Census Bureau report broke down regional and demographic differences for the second quarter period. Key stats from the report:
- Cities vs. suburbs: the rental vacancy rate inside principal cities (8.9 percent, down from last year) was higher than the rate in the suburbs (8.1 percent, same as Q2 2011), but not statistically different from the rate outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) (9.2 percent, same as Q2 2011).
- Cities vs. suburbs: the homeowner vacancy rates in principal cities and outside MSA’s (2.4 percent each, down from Q2 2011) were higher than in the suburbs (1.8 percent, same as Q2 2011).
- Rental vacancy rates: South (11.0 percent), Midwest (9.1 percent), Northeast (6.7 percent), West (6.2 percent).
- Homeowner vacancy rates: South (2.1 percent), Midwest (2.2 percent), Northeast (1.7 percent), West (2.2 percent).
- Homeownership rates: South (67.4 percent), Midwest (69.6 percent), Northeast (63.7 percent), West (59.7 percent).
- National vacancy rates: 86. percent of the housing units in the U.S. were occupied, 14.0 percent were vacant.
- Occupancy breakdown: owner-occupied housing units made up 56.4 percent of total housing units, and renter-occupied units made up 29.7 percent of the inventory.
- Vacation homes: 10.6 percent of housing units were vacant year-round, while 3.4 percent were for seasonal use.
- Sale vs. rent: 2.8 percent of the total units were for rent, 1.2 percent were for sale only, and 0.8 percent were rented or sold but not yet occupied.
- Vacant units off market: vacant units that were held off market comprised 5.7 percent of the total housing stock. Of these units, 1.8 percent were for occasional use, 1.0 percent were temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewhere, and 3.0 percent were vacant for a variety of other reasons.
- Age demographics: homeownership rates were highest for homeowners over 65 years (81.6 percent), falling by age group; age 55-64 (77.1 percent), 45-54 years (71.4 percent), 35-44 years (62.2 percent), and under 35 (36.5 percent).
- Race demographics: homeownership rates for Caucasians is the highest (73.5 percent) followed by Hispanics (46.5 percent) and African-Americans (43.8 percent), while 55.0 percent of all other demographics combined own homes.