August 2nd, 2012 2:42 PM by Eileen Denhard
The nation’s homeownership rate rose to65.5 percent in the second quarter, the Census Bureau reported Friday.
The Census Bureau though revised downward thehomeownership rate for the first quarter to 65.4 percent (from the originallyreported 65.5 percent), the lowest since the first quarter of 1997 when therate was also 65.4 percent. The homeownership rate peaked at 69.2 percent inthe second quarter of 2004. The rate measures the proportion of householdsowning their primary residence, computed by dividing the number of householdthat are occupied by owners by the total number of occupied homes.
The Census Bureau also reported the homeownervacancy rate fell to 2.1 percent nationwide, down from 2.2 percent in the firstquarter and 2.5 percent one year ago. The homeowner vacancy rate is at itslowest level since Q1 2006. The rental vacancy rate dropped to 8.6 percent from8.8 percent in the first quarter and from 9.2 percent in Q2 2011. The rentalvacancy rate fell to its lowest level since Q2 in 2002.
The homeowner vacancy rate is the proportionof the homeowner inventory that is vacant or for sale. The rental vacancy rateis the proportion of the rental inventory that is vacant or for rent.
According to the quarterly report, the numberof housing units in the second quarter was 132,718,000, an increase of 486,000from Q2 2011, about 14 percent of which – 18,518,000 – were vacant.The number of units for sale fell to 1,595,000 in Q2 from 1,959,000 in Q2 2011,a drop of 364,000. The number of housing units held off the market increased265,000 in the year to 7,612,000.
The highest homeownership rate in the secondquarter was in the Midwest – 69.6percent, up from 69.5 percent in the first quarter but down from 70.0 percentone year ago. The homeownership rate increased in two of the four Censusregions with the steepest growth in the Northeast up to 63.7 percent in Q2 from62.5 percent in Q1 and 63.0 percent in Q2 2011. The rate fell in the West to59.7 percent from 59.9 percent in Q1 and 60.3 percent in Q2 2011. In the South,the homeownership rate fell to 87.4 percent from 67.5 percent in Q1 and 68.2percent in Q2 2011.
The homeownership rate for older Americansgrew in the second quarter to 81.6 percent for those 65 or older from 80.9percent in the first quarter while falling for those under 35 to 36.5 percentin the second quarter from 36.8 percent in the first.
The median asking sale price for a vacant homerose to $134,600 in the second quarter from $133,700 in the first and $138,400one year earlier. The median asking rent in the second quarter fell to $716from $721 in the first quarter but was up from $684 in the second quarter of2011.