(Inman News Features) - Home ownership gains during the 1990s were the strongest since the 1950s, according to separate studies conducted by the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the nonprofit Fannie Mae Foundation. A study by Dowell Myers of USC revealed aging baby boomers were responsible for most of the increase in the home ownership rate. As older baby boomers moved from the 35-44 age group to the 45-54-year-old group, they moved from a group with a 66.2 percent home ownership rate to one with a 75.3 percent homeownership rate.
A study by Patrick Simmons of the Fannie Mae Foundation found minority households were a key factor behind strong growth in home ownership. The number of U.S. homeowners reached 69.8 million in 2000, a gain of 10.8 million from 1990, the study found.
Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 40 percent of the increase, up from 27 percent during the 1980s. Minorities accounted for more than 95 percent of homeowner growth in California and Hawaii and 80 percent in New York.
Favorable economic conditions, including low unemployment and interest rates, and government and housing industry efforts to expand home ownership also contributed to growth, the studies found.