Minorities Make No Gains in Closing Homeownership Gap
At 69.0%, the nation’s near-record homeownership rate for this year’s third quarter was virtually unchanged from the same time last year, when it stood at 68.8%, the U.S. Census Bureau reported on Oct. 27, and minorities showed little progress in catching up with the percentage of white households owning homes.
Regionally, the highest homeownership rate for the third quarter was recorded in the Midwest, at 72.8%, followed by the South, 70.6%; the Northeast, 65.5%; and the West 65.3%. The rate nudged up in the West from 64.2% for the same three months of 2005, but the other three regions of the country showed no statistical differences from a year earlier, the Census reported.
The homeownership rate was highest for those age 55 to 64 (80.7%) and those age 65 and over (81.5%). That was followed by the 45 to 54 age category (76.4%), 35 to 44 years (68.8%), and under 35 (43.0%). With the exception of the 65 and up group, which posted a small gain over its 2005 third-quarter homeownership rate of 80.6%, there were no statistical differences for the age groups compared to last year’s third quarter.
In this year’s third quarter, 76.0% of white households were home owners, followed by all other races (60.6%), Hispanics (49.7%) and Blacks (48.6%). By race and ethnicity, none of the categories tracked by the Census Bureau made any statistically meaningful headway over the course of the year ending in the third quarter.
The homeownership rate for households with incomes greater than or equal to the median family income increased from 83.7% in the third quarter of 2005 to 84.4% in the third quarter of 2006. Those with family incomes less than the median stayed virtually the same at 53.0%.
Home Owner Vacancy Rates on the Rise
National vacancy rates in the third quarter were 9.9% for rental housing and 2.5% for home owner housing. The vacancy rate for home owners was significantly higher than the 1.9% rate that occurred during the third quarter of 2005, while the vacancy rate for rentals showed no significant difference.
Rental vacancies were highest in the Midwest (12.6%), followed by the South (11.9%), the Northeast (7.7%) and the West (6.5%).
Home owner vacancy rates were highest in the Midwest (2.7%) and the South (2.8%), followed by the West (2.3%) and the Northeast (1.7%).
The Census reported that among the estimated 126.2 million housing units in the U.S. in this year’s third quarter, approximately 109.6 million were occupied: 75.6 million by owners and 34.0 million by renters. The number of owner-occupied units was higher than a year ago, while the number of renter-occupied units was about the same. Of the 16.6 million vacant housing units, 12.6 million were for year-round use. About 2.8 million of the year-round units were for rent, 1.9 million were for sale only and the remaining 6.9 million units were vacant for a variety of reasons.
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NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips in Cooling Market
With the current cooling of the nation’s housing market expected to persist into the middle of next year, NAHB has developed a comprehensive online toolkit geared to providing association members with information that will help them prosper in today’s changing business environment.
To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.
For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.