The U.S. Census Bureau says the nation's Homeownership Rate was at 65.4 percent in the second quarter of 2021. This is down from both the previous quarter's 65.6 percent, and a year earlier when it was reported at 67.9 percent. However, the Bureau cautions," When interpreting these estimates and comparing with prior quarters and years, data users should understand and consider changes in data collection operations that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, data users should apply caution when interpreting estimates of year-to-year changes because the extent of changes in data collection operations may differ across time."

The rate peaked in the first quarter of 2005 at 69.1 percent, then began a slow decline, bottoming out in the second quarter of 2016 at 62.9 percent. Since then, its recovery has been fitful.

By region, the rate in the West is lowest at 60.1 percent, 1.5 point lower than a year earlier. The Northeast had a rate of 61.8 percent, also down 1.5 point. The South dropped from 71.1 percent in the second quarter of 2020 to 67.1 percent this year. The Midwest, the region that typically has the highest homeownership, was at 70.7 percent compared to 71.4 percent in the earlier Q2.

By age, the lowest rate was, as usual, among the youngest households, those under 35 years of age. That rate in the second quarter was 37.8 percent, less than half that of those over 65 years who typically have the highest rate, at this point 79.6 percent. The youngest group's rate was down more than 2 points from the 40.6 percent rate in the same quarter of 2020.

Of those between the ages of 35 and 44, 61.3 percent owned a home in Q2, down 3 points on an annual basis. Those in the remaining age groups, 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 had rates of 69.4 and 75.4 respectively, down from 72.2 percent and 77.4 percent in the earlier period.

The homeownership rate had spiked in the second quarter of 2020 for all racial and ethic groups. The rates are now down by at least 2 to more than 3 percentage points for all groups but non-Hispanic whites with a 1.8 point dip to 74.2 percent, Black households were at 44.6 percent, Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, 58.7 percent, Hispanic, 47.5 percent, and all other races, 56.2 percent.

The vacancy rate for rental property in the second quarter was 0.5 point higher than a year earlier at 6.2 percent while the homeowner vacancy rate was flat at 0.9 percent. The median asking rent for vacant units was $1,228 per month while the median asking price for sale of vacant units was $238,600.