Homeowners Get More Special, Have Something to Crow About

by Alex Stenback on January 31, 2011

The Census Bureau reports that the homeownership rate in America is at 66.5%, which also means fewer American’s own their home than at any time since 1998.

[Quick Aside: 98 was a year in which the average mortgage rate was 6.94%.  This may sound usury by today's standard, but at the time it spurred a refi mini-boom as rates dropped from around 8% the year before.  How times have changed.]

So if you are tired of your rentier friends acting superior, one reason to feel better as a homeowner might be the that only 66.5% of others have what you have. 

And here in Minnesota, with an ownership rate of  70.9%. you can have your cake an eat it too.  71% of you have what only 66.5% of the rest of the country has. It may be buried under 50 inches of snow and have an ice dam, but you own it – so take that, Cailfiornia, with your always sunny and anemic 55.4% ownership rate (!!)

But seriously, if you look at the chart above from the Census Bureau, you can see that nobody owned their home in the 80′s.  And also that we are trending towards a more normal (which is pretty tough to extrapolate from this series) homeownership rate.  While this may not be ’The Bottom,’ things are looking a lot healthier than the unsustainable and unprecedented rates of a few years ago driven by a bubbly market.

In other words, take a declining homeownership rate as a postive for the real estate market and economy in general.

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