Homeownership Falls to 15-Year Low
It's at 65.4%, down from a high of 69.2%, but analysts aren't worried—yet
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 1, 2012 8:19 AM CDT
In this June 9, 2011 file photo, a home posted for sale at a reduced price is seen in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

(Newser) – The US homeownership rate fell to 65.4% in the first quarter to hit a 15-year-low, as foreclosures and a strong rental market kept Americans away from homeownership, according to figures released by the Census Bureau today. That's down from 66% last quarter, and from 69.2% at the market's peak in 2004. But analysts tell the LA Times there's no reason to panic—the market is just correcting itself after subprime insanity.

That 69.2% figure was propped up by a lot of people who were really "renters with an option to buy," since they'd put no money down, says a USC professor specializing in Real Estate. "We were getting numbers up toward 70% that just didn't make any sense. If the number goes below 64%, it'll be something to be alarmed about. But above that—we're just going back to where we should be."

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
$2963277
May 1, 2012 10:56 AM CDT
Gee. If only there was an act from congress that pushes reinvestment in communities.
Hybrid_2.0
May 1, 2012 9:03 AM CDT
From an article last year in march, his words are much clearer than mine No where in our society today is the actual institution of home ownership more important to secure the stability of not only local communities but for the overall economic stability and security of a nation. The realization of owning a home is so paramount to remedy this nations economic crisis that if the United States doesn't rectify this sever crisis in practically every city this nation will be very hard pressed to ever climb out of this economic abyss. With the number of current foreclosures continually escalating the United States will never regain the economic prominence that we had during the housing boom of the 1950's and 1960's unless more people are able to buy and become part of that paternal brotherhood of home ownership. It is of vital importance that the more people who are able to actually purchase and stay within a home the greater the overall economic impact there will be in every local community through-out the country
sean8513
May 1, 2012 8:42 AM CDT
why do we need to be worried about dipping below a statistical threshold that supposedly represents homeownership levels in America? It is OK to rent, no stigma attached, and still be living the 'American Dream'. Tying ourselves to an owner-occupied market only stymies the rentier market and perpetuates these feelings of stress that the 'American Dream' is dying. There can only be ONE answer to the problem.......... Its all Barack Obama's fault! lol that was for you Turtle.