Projection: US homeownership rate to continue to fall

One firm projects the homeownership rate in the United States will continue to fall through next year:

The homeownership rate in the second quarter was unchanged from the prior three month period, according to Census Bureau data released today. It will hit bottom at about 64 percent in the next year as families leave the foreclosure pipeline and enter rental homes, according to a May analysis by London-based Capital Economics Inc. It’s currently the lowest in almost 18 years after averaging about 64 percent for 30 years through 1995.

First-time buyers and minorities are among the groups that have seen the sharpest declines since the crash. While property ownership among senior citizens was little changed at about 81 percent, the share below age 35 that own a home fell to about 37 percent from almost 42 percent five years earlier.

The rate for blacks reached almost 50 percent in the second quarter of 2004 from about 43 percent in 1995, Census Bureau data show. By the second quarter of this year, it had dropped to 42.9 percent. The rate for whites fell to 73.3 percent in the second quarter, from 76.2 percent in 2004.

The good news: the projection suggests the bottom is about 64 percent. The bad news: there are still plenty of people caught in the foreclosure pipeline. This is a reminder that foreclosures aren’t just about people having to leave their current home; it also gunks up the market far down the road.

See charts of the trends, with the latest 2013 2Q data, here.

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