Third Quarter Home-ownership Lowest in 18 Years, but Higher Than Q2

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Homeowner and rental vacancy rates were essentially flat
during the third quarter of 2013.  The
Census Bureau reported on Tuesday that the vacancy rate for residential rental
property was 8.3 percent, up 0.1 percentage points from the second quarter and
0.3 percentage points lower than in the third quarter of 2012.  Homeowner vacancies were virtually unchanged
from both the previous quarter and a year earlier at 1.9 percent.

 

 

There were approximately 132.85 million housing units in
the U.S. in the third quarter, an increase of about 363,000 from one year
earlier.  The number of occupied units
was 114.77 million, up from 114.39 million in Q3 2012. Of those occupied units about 74.9
million were occupied by their owners during both periods while renters
occupied 39.87 million units in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 39.51
million during the same period in 2012.

Of the 18.1 million vacant properties reported in both
periods, approximately 13.6 million were considered year round properties and
of those 3.7 million were available for rent in the recent period compared to
3.8 million the year before.  The numbers
of units for sale only were virtually unchanged at 1.5 million.

Rental vacancies peaked at 11.1 percent in the third
quarter of 2009 and hit a recent low at 8.2 percent in the second quarter of
this year.  Homeowner vacancies held at
recent highs of 2.8 to 2.9 percent throughout 2008 but dropped below 2.0
percent for the first time since the financial crisis began in the second
quarter of this year.

The rental vacancy rate inside of major cities (8.2
percent) did not differ significantly from the 7.9 percent rate in the
suburbs.  The rate outside of
Metropolitan Statistical Areas was the highest at 10.1 percent.  Vacancies were highest in the south at 10.1
percent followed by the Midwest at 9.1 percent. 
The Northeast had a 7.2 percent rental vacancy rate and the West was at
5.9 percent.

Homeowner vacancies rates were highest outside MSAs (2.4
percent) and lowest in the suburbs (1.7 percent).  Inside principal cities the rate was 2.2
percent.  Regionally, the South again had
the highest rate, 2.2 percent and the Midwest the second highest at 2.0
percent.  The West and Northeast followed
at a distance with rates of 1.6 and 1.5 percent respectively.

The median asking price for vacant rental units in the
third quarter was $736 per month.  The
median asking price for vacant units for sale was $140,600.

 

 

The Census Bureau also released data
on homeownership.  Homeownership has trended down fairly steadily since peaking in
mid-2006.  The rate picked up slightly in
the third quarter rising from 65.0 to 65.3 percent and was 0.2 percentage
points lower than a year earlier but the Bureau said that seasonality factors
made the small changes statistically insignificant.

 

 

For
the third quarter 2013, the homeownership rates were highest in the Midwest (69.6 percent)
and lowest in the West
(59.5 percent). The homeownership rates in the Northeast,
Midwest, South, and West were not statistically
different from the
rates a year ago.

As always the
homeownership rate was highest among those 65 years of age or older (81.1
percent) non-Hispanic Whites (73.3 percent) with incomes higher than the median
for their area (79.9 percent.)  Rates
were lowest for those under age 36 (36.8 percent),
African-American (43.1 and family income below the median (50.6 percent).

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