“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.”
“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.”