The Collapse In U.S. Homeownership Is Much Greater Than Reported In The Media
June 2, 2011
CR Note: The following is from economist Tom Lawler. He points out that the homeownership rate in April 2010 was significantly lower than previously thought. Tom also notes that the age adjusted homeownership rate was lower in April 2010 than in April 1990! Yeah, 1990.
Economist Tom Lawler writes: Census 2010 and the US Homeownership Rate: Where’s the Media?
While the data released for Census 2010 on households and housing was probably the most important “macro” housing data released by Census over the last several years, media coverage was surprisingly scant. (I am not including blogs in my definition of “media.) Many newspapers and other media that religiously report on the quarterly Housing Vacancy Survey data, especially the homeownership rate, failed to run stories highlighting that the homeownership rate last April was in fact substantially lower than previous HVS estimates had suggested, and was significantly below the homeownership rate in 2000. Indeed, a Bloomberg/Business Week story today entitled “Rising Rents Risk U.S. Inflation as Fed Restraint Questioned” noted that “the rate of homeownership has fallen to 66.4 percent, the lowest since 1998, data from the Census Bureau show,” citing HVS estimates for Q1/2011, but it failed to mention that new Census 2010 data indicated that the US homeownership rate in the middle of the first half of last year was 65.1%, far below the HVS estimate of 67%.
Here is a table from last week’s report on the various estimates of the US homeownership rate from different Census Bureau reports.