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Nation’s Homeownership Rates Down

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Census Bureau said homeownership has fallen to 65.4 percent, the lowest rate since 1997.

The percentage of homeowners in the first quarter fell 1 percentage point from the same period of 2011.

Concurrently, vacancy rates for rental properties fell from 9.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011 to 8.8 percent January through March this year.

Vacancy rates dropped despite a recent trend of investors buying distressed properties and renting them out.

With the increased demand for rental units, given the high number of people losing their homes to foreclosure, the median price for rent has jumped 5.6 percent over the past year to $721 per month.

The median price of a home has gone the other direction, falling from $143,700 in the first quarter of 2011 to $133,700 in the first quarter of 2011.

CNNMoney reported Tuesday homeownership has dropped across the board for all age groups, all races and in every U.S. geographic region.

In the West, homeownership is down to 59.9 percent. In the Midwest, it has dropped to 69.5 percent. The homeownership rate in the South is 67.5 percent, and in the Northeast it is 62.5 percent.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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