The national homeownership rate ended last year at the lowest level since 1996. When adjusted for seasonal variation, the current homeownership rate (65.3 percent) was lower than the rate in the fourth quarter 2011 (66.0 percent) and approximately the same as the rate last quarter.
For the fourth quarter 2012, the homeownership rates were highest in the Midwest (69.7 percent) and lowest in the West (59.5 percent). The homeownership rate in the South was lower than the corresponding fourth quarter 2011 rate, while the rates in the Northeast, Midwest, and West were not statistically different from the rates a year ago, according to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey.
For the fourth quarter 2012, the homeownership rates were highest for those householders ages 65 years and over (80.7 percent) and lowest for the under 35 years of age group (37.1 percent). The rates for householders 35 to 44 and 55 to 64 years were lower than the fourth quarter 2011 rates. The rates for householders less than 35, 45 to 54, and 65 years and older were not statistically different from the fourth quarter 2011 rates.
Minority homeownership continued to decline. White householders (non-Hispanic) reported highest homeownership rate of any race at 73.6 percent. Homeownership among African American householders was lowest, at 44.5 percent. The homeownership rate for Hispanic householders (who can be of any race), 45.0 percent, was lower than the fourth quarter 2011 rate.
The homeownership rate for households with family incomes greater than or equal to the median family income was lower than the fourth quarter 2011 rate (80.8 percent). The rate for those households with family incomes less than the median family income was also lower than the fourth quarter 2011 rate (51.3 percent).