The Census Bureau reported Thursday that the national homeownership rate in the second quarter was 64.1%, not statistically different from the rate in the second quarter 2018 (64.3%) nor from the rate in the first quarter 2019 (64.2%).
The second quarter 2019 homeownership rate was highest in the Midwest (68.0%), followed by the South (66.0%), the Northeast (61.2%) and the West (59.3%). The homeownership rates in each region were not statistically different from the rates in the second quarter 2018.
National vacancy rates in the second quarter 2019 were 6.8% for rental housing and 1.3% for homeowner housing. The rental vacancy rate of 6.8% was virtually unchanged from the rate in the second quarter 2018 and not statistically different from the rate in the first quarter 2019 (7.0%).
The homeowner vacancy rate of 1.3% was 0.2 percentage points lower than the rate in the second quarter 2018 (1.5%), but not statistically different from the rate in the first quarter 2019 (1.4%).
The second quarter 2019 homeownership rate was highest for those householders ages 65 years and over (78.0%) and lowest for those householders under 35 years of age (36.4%). The homeownership rates for each age group of householders were not statistically different from the second quarter 2018 rates.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Assocation of Realtors, took a deeper look into the numbers. "The number of homeowners rose in the second quarter by nearly 600,000. That’s great news, as more American households can participate in housing wealth accumulation, which has been rising at a rate of $1.5 trillion a year in recent years. The homeownership rate fell nonetheless, as another 600,000 households became new renters. Historically the ratio has been 2–to-1 homeowners to renters in household formation. However, the housing shortage, especially at the level of moderately priced homes, has prevented many financially capable renters from owning. More home construction is needed to relieve the housing shortage and allow more Americans to participate in wealth gains associated with ownership.”