Census Bureau Report Confirms Housing Crisis

The U.S. Census Bureau's Report on Vacancies and Homeownership shows that homeownership rates are declining while inventories of available housing are increasing.

"The housing and mortgage meltdown caused the biggest one-year drop in the rate of homeownership on record, according to government figures released Tuesday. The decline, while expected, is yet another indication of the housing market's sudden and dramatic turn. The Census Bureau report showed that home owners accounted for 67.8% of occupied homes in the fourth quarter, down 1.1 points from a year earlier. It's the largest year-over-year drop recorded in the report."

"'It's an incredible story,' said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. 'We're back to where we were in 2002, which is before the subprime nuttiness and run-up in prices. And it's not clear how much farther we're going to fall.'"

"The ownership rate was well below the 68.2% ownership rate in the third quarter of 2007. Homeownership rates, which have been tracked since 1965, hit a record high of 69.2% in the second and fourth quarters of 2004."

"The glut of vacant homes and the falling rates of ownership are signs of the evaporation of demand for home sales, which in turn has hammered housing values, particularly in neighborhoods with multiple homes sitting empty."

"The downturn has also hit home builders particularly hard. Hollywood, Fla.-based home builder Tousa (TOUS) filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday. [B]uilders have been stuck with a record inventory of 195,000 completed homes at the end of December, according to a separate Census Bureau report Monday. That report also indicated that new home sales posted the biggest annual drop on record last year."

Full Story: Home ownership in record plunge

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00