October 7, 2011- Home ownership rates fell to 65.1%, which was just over 1% lower than it was back in 2000. That decline was the largest drop since the Great Depression when the drop was over 4%.
That drop is not indicative of what happened in the latter part of the last ten years say Census Bureau authorities. Home ownership was very high between 2004 and 2007 peaking at nearly 70% in 2004. From that peak, the percentage dropped over 4% in only about six years, a far more dramatic drop than the overall decade drop of just over 1%.
Some regions were much more affected than others were. The lowest home ownership percentage was the West with just 60.5% and the highest was the Midwest with 69.2%. The Northeast was at only 62.2% and the South higher at 66.7%.
New York had the lowest state rate for home ownership with only 53.3% even though the District of Columbia was even worse at 42%. The state with the highest percentage of home ownership was West Virginia with 73.4%.
There has also been an increase in the number of empty homes. Vacant homes sharply increased by almost 44% to over 15 million. That is equal to over 11% of all the housing units in the United States and the District of Columbia.