U.S. homeownership rate dips below 2000 level

The Census Bureau reports that 2.7 percent of owners’ residences were vacant in the last quarter of 2009, while the national vacancy rate for rental housing was 10.7 percent.

For homeowner vacancies, the current rate was not statistically different from the fourth quarter 2008 rate of 2.9 percent or from the rate last quarter of 2.6 percent.

But the homeownership rate of  67.2 percent for the current quarter compares with 67.5 percent in 2000 and 66.9 percent in 1999. And it was lower than the previous quarter’s rate (67.6 percent).

National homeownership rate. Click to expand.

The Census Bureau also noted that the rental vacancy rate was higher than the fourth quarter 2008 rate (10.1 percent).

When compared with their respective rates a year ago, the homeownership rate for single-race black householders was lower, while the rates for non-Hispanic white householders and for “All Other Races” householders were not statistically different.

White householders reporting a single race was highest at 74.5 percent.  The rate for All Other Races householders was second at 58.4 percent, and single-race black householders was lowest with a rate of 46.0 percent.

Home ownership by race. Click to expand.

Approximately 85.5 percent of the housing units in the United States in the fourth quarter 2009 were occupied and 14.5 percent were vacant.

U.S. housing inventory. Click to expand.

The owner-occupied housing units were 57.5 percent of total housing units and renter-occupied units made up 28.1 percent in fourth quarter 2009.

Vacant year-round units made up 10.9 percent of total housing units, while 3.5 percent were for seasonal use.

Approximately 3.4 percent of the total units were for rent, 1.6 percent were for sale only, and 5.9 percent were vacant for a variety of other reasons.

These data are beyond my pay scale, to I’ll leave it to CalculatedRiskBlog.com to analyze:

  • The homeownership rate increased in the ’90s and early ’00s because of changes in demographics and “innovations” in mortgage lending. A normal rate for recent years appears to be about 1.7 percent.
  • The homeowner vacancy rate is about 1.0 percent above normal.  Along with approximately 75 million homeowner occupied homes, there appears to be an excess of close to 750,000 vacant homes.
  • The data suggest that there are still more than 1.8 million excess housing units, and these excess units will keep pressure on housing starts, rents and house prices for some time.

You’ll find much more information about the U.S. and New York housing markets in the free bi-weekly e-newsletter that I write every two weeks and issue on alternate Fridays.  The next one will be tomorrow around noon.

Subscribe by Email

Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Web site

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s