Despite reports of steadily increasing home sales and home prices, home ownership, according to the Census Bureau, has been on the decline both in a year-over-year analysis and quarter-to quarter. The most recent Census data reveals home ownership to be at a new low of 65 percent. This is the lowest rate since the Bureau began monitoring data in 1995.
Seventy percent of homeowners reside in the Midwest while the West has the lowest homeownership rate (59.4 percent). Relative regional ownership rates have not significantly changed over the years. A little over 80 percent of people over age sixty-five own their homes compared to less than 40 percent of those under age 35. Middle age folks (35-44) own at a rate of 60.1 percent.
Meanwhile, apartment vacancy rates have been declining. This year’s first quarter national rental vacancy rate is 8.6 percent. This is down from a high of 10.6 percent in 2010. The Bureau has only been keeping track since 2005. The median asking price for vacant rental units in the first quarter was $718.