The rate of home ownership in the U.S. is at its lowest level in over a decade, giving more opportunities to rental property businesses and landlords all around the country. According to housing market analysts, the decline in home ownership is largely due to the continuous rise in the number of foreclosures and the declining demand for residential properties.
The Census Bureau reported that households living in properties that they own are at 66.9% during the third quarter of 2010. The rate remained unchanged when compared with the 2010 second quarter. The last time that home ownership rate was at a lower level than its current status was back in 1999 when 66.7% of households all around the country own residential properties.
Historically, 64% of households occupy houses that they own. The figure started rising in 1995 following government campaigns aimed at encouraging people to own residences. Several legislators have reportedly pushed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to buy more loans designed for low income families, while others encouraged borrowers with weaker credit ratings to go for subprime loans.
Ownership of residential properties reached its highest level in 2004 at 69%, but started declining in 2006 and continued to decline as the housing market crisis hit. Today, rental property is considered much more preferable than home buying by most Americans, market analysts have reported.
The decline in home ownership is expected to continue until next year due to huge supplies of foreclosures and strict lending rules. Analysts are predicting that ownership of homes will return to the level recorded before 1995 when fewer Americans value residential property investments. According to some housing market experts, the government is partly to blame for the crisis in the residential property industry.
They argued that past administrations have allowed borrowers with low credit ratings to get loans, which eventually led to defaults. The number of houses that are empty or vacant has risen since 2006, analysts have reported. Four years ago, the number is estimated to be at 16 million. By the end of 2008, the number is estimated at 19 million. Rental property vacancy is around 10.3%, while primary home vacancy is at 2.5%.