2010 Census Bureau figures released this week indicate the home ownership rate is facing its biggest drop since the Great Depression.
The home ownership rate has fallen to 65.1 percent (or 76 million occupied housing units owned by their residents) from 66.2 percent in 2000. The 1.1 percentage point drop is the largest since the Great Depression in 1940. During that time, home ownership rate dropped 4.2 percentage points, reaching 43.6 percent.
While the home ownership rate for 2010 of 65.1 percent still remains overall high, housing experts are concerned that the percentage drop from the last census may signal a future downward trend.
Since 1940, the home ownership rate has gradually been increasing nearly every decade. During the housing boom, the home ownership rate peaked at nearly 70 percent.
But tighter credit and a bleak job picture are all causing home ownership rates to sink lower, analysts say.
Among the Census findings:
- Unemployed young adults are the least likely to own a home.
- The home ownership rate for adults aged 35-64 are at their lowest level in decades. Many middle-aged adults may have suffered from the housing crisis of 2006, facing foreclosures or bankruptcies, the Associated Press notes.
- The home ownership gap between whites and blacks is growing and is at its widest gap since 1960.