Monday, October 29, 2007

Homeownership Rates Decline Further

From Bloomberg:

“The proportion of households that own their residences fell to 68.1 percent in the July-September period from 68.3 percent in the prior three months, according to a report today from the Census Bureau in Washington, whose comparable records go back to 1981. The rate has been declining from a peak in 2004, which culminated a decade of gains fueled by easier lending standards and rising home purchases by immigrants and younger households.”

From MarketWatch:

“While more homes were built in the past year, fewer American households were living in their own home at the end of the third quarter than did a year before. The number of homes occupied by their owner fell by a half million in the past year to 75.2 million.
As a result, the homeownership rate fell to a four-year low of 68.1% in the third quarter, the government said. The homeownership rate measures the percentage of occupied housing units that are occupied by owners; it peaked at 69.2% in the first quarter of 2006.”

From Business Week:

“Many analysts have fingered easy lending as a contributor to the housing boom, but the Atlanta Fed paper may be the first to quantify its effect in a rigorous way. Using math-heavy econometric analysis, the authors conclude that the availability of new kinds of mortgages, mainly ones with low down payments, accounted for 56% to 70% of the decade-long increase in the U.S. homeownership rate, while demographic changes accounted for only 16% to 31% of the effect.”

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