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Housing Report Reveals Move Towards Rentals


According to the “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2012” report, more people are renting as homeownership rates decline. The number of renter households grew by 1 million in 2011, the largest one year increase since the 1980’s. Although young workers and minorities tend to rent more, the recession has increased the number of white renters, older renters, and married renters. 

This report issued on June 14th by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) found that the increase in demand for rental housing has decreased rental vacancy rates while increasing rents. This has resulted in a decrease of affordable units for lower income households.  The number of renters earning $15,000 or less grew by 2.2 million between 2001 and 2010 according to the American Community Survey and the number of rental units adequate and affordable to those households decreased by 470,000 in the same time. The shortage of units affordable to lower income households grew to 5.1 million units, which resulted in a increase of 6.4 million severely cost burdened households (those paying more than half of their income on housing costs.)

Homeownership rates in the Northeast have dropped 1.6 points from 65.2% in 2005 to 63.6% in 2011. Across the nation, the homeownership rate is 66.1% but this varies significantly when age and race are factored in. For those under 35, only 37.7% are homeowners, down 4.3% from 43.0% in 2005. The age group that saw the biggest drop in homeownership rates was 35-44 year olds, with a 69.3% ownership rate in 2005, and 63.5% in 2011. The 65 and over crowd actually experienced a 0.3 point increase in ownership rate from 80.6% in 2005 to 80.9% in 2011. Not surprisingly, Whites had the highest homeownership rate of all race/ethnicities with 73.8% and Blacks had the lowest with 45.3% homeownership rate.

A summary of the report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition is available here

To read the full report, click here.


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