Despite Turmoil Homeownership Remains High

by devteam October 7th, 2011 | Share

With the exception of 2000, a greaterrnpercentage of Americans own homes today than at any time since the U.S. CensusrnBureau began to collect homeownership data. rnThe current homeownership rate in the country is now 65.1 percent, arnloss of 1.1 percentage points between 2000 and 2010.  This is the largest drop in the rate sincernthe period from 1930 to 1940 when, one might say, there were similar economicrnfactors in play.</p


Totalrnhousing units grew to 131.7 million, an increase of 15.8 million or 13.6rnpercent over the period between the 2000 and 2010 census.  The supply of housing grew more quickly inrnthe South where it increased 17.9 percent to 50 million units and the West whichrngrew 17.3 percent to 28.6 million.  ThernMidwest now has 29.5 million housing units, an increase of 9.3 million whilernthe Northeast grew by 6.6 percent to 23.6 million.</p

Thernstates with the greatest growth in housing inventory were Nevada (41.9rnpercent), Arizona (29.9 percent), Utah (27.5 percent,) Idaho (26.5 percent) andrnGeorgia (24.6 percent.).  West Virginiarnhad the least growth at 4.4 percent.</p

Amongrnregions, homeownership was highest in the Midwest (69.2 percent) and the Southrn(66.7 percent).  The Northeast and thernWest were considerably lower with rates of 62.2 percent and 60.5 percentrnrespectively.  Every region recorded somernloss in homeownership over the ten year period.</p

Statesrnwith the highest levels of homeownership were West Virginia (73.4 percent) andrnMinnesota (73.0 percent).  New York hadrnthe lowest percentage of homeowners, 53.3 percent.</p


The onlyrnmetropolitan area where renters outnumbered homeowners was Manhattan Kansasrnwith a homeownership rate of 49.5 percent. rnBy comparison, in 2000 renters outnumbered homeowners in fivernmetropolitan areas.  Similarly,rnhomeowners were in the majority in most of the nations counties.  Renters outnumbered homeowners in only 1.5rnpercent of the 3,143 counties (or their equivalents).</p

When the focus narrows from metropolitan areas to citiesrnthe ratio of homeowners to renters shifts. rnRenters made up 69 percent of households in New York City, 61.8 percentrnin Los Angeles, 55.1 percent in Chicago, and 54.6 percent in Houston.  Many counties, however, have seen an increasernin renter occupancy over the last ten years, some in the double digits.  Only 14 counties saw more than a 5 percentrnincrease in homeownership.


Nationally there were 15 million vacant housing units in 2010, an increasernof 43.8 percent since 2000. This represents 11.4 percent of the total housingrninventory.  The vacancy rate was highestrnis the South at 12.7 percent; the other regions were all below the nationalrnrate.  Only three states, New Mexico,rnWyoming, and Hawaii, had a decrease in their gross vacancy rates and all thosernchanges were less than one percentage point. rnNevada had the largest increase in vacancies.</p

Homeowner vacancy rates (homes that are vacant and for sale) increasedrnalmost everywhere and rose nationally by 0.7 percent to 2.4 percent.  The rental vacancy rate increased 2.3 percentrnto 9.2 percent.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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