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Homeownership Rate Remains Flat

Phil Hall
Jul 25, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/AndreyPopov

The U.S. homeownership rate during the second quarter was 64.1 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The new rate saw little difference from the 64.2 percent rate in the first quarter or the 64.3 percent rate in the second quarter of 2018.
The second quarter homeownership rate was highest in the Midwest (68 percent), followed by the South (66 percent), the Northeast (61.2 percent) and the West (59.3 percent), and all regions saw little movement from the rates in the second quarter 2018. Among racial demographics, the homeownership rate was highest among whites (73.1 percent), followed by Asian-Americans (57.7) and African-Americans (40.6 percent); the Hispanic homeownership rate was 46.6 percent.
National vacancy rates in the second quarter were 6.8 percent for rental housing and 1.3 percent for homeowner housing. Approximately 87.8 percent of the housing units in the second quarter were occupied and 12.2 percent were vacant. Owner-occupied housing units made up 56.3 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 31.5 percent of the inventory.
Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), was not optimistic when he learned about the statistics.
“The data from the second quarter Housing Vacancy Survey continue to show a lack of housing supply across the country,” he said. “The homeowner vacancy rate, at 1.3 percent, is at its lowest level since 1981. The rental vacancy rate at 6.8 percent also remains quite low, but has leveled out over the past few quarters. Given this lack of housing inventory, household formation remains constrained, with about 1.2 million new households formed over the past year, and the majority of those new households choosing to rent. As a result, the homeownership rate has dropped a bit to 64.1 percent. Looking ahead, we expect that underlying housing demand will remain strong, given that the largest cohort of millennials are now in their mid-20s.”

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