The U.S. homeownership rate in the third quarter fell back slightly from the prior quarter. The second quarter saw the highest level for homeownership since the second quarter of 2008. Homeownership in the third quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was 67.4 percent, 0.5-point decrease from the previous period, but up from 64.8 percent in the third quarter of 2019. That rate ties with the second quarter of 2009 as the second highest rate since the onset of the housing crisis.
The rate was highest in the Midwest and South at 71.2 percent and 70.8 percent and substantially lower in the Northeast (62.0 percent) and West (62.1 percent). All four regions posted annual increases.
The rate increased for all age groups. Those under the age of 35 jumped from 37.5 percent in the third quarter of last year to 40.2 percent and the rate for those 35 to 44 years old rose more than three points to 63.9 percent. The rate for those 45 to 54 was 72.0 percent, 55 to 64, 76.4 percent and those over 65 had a rate of 80.7 percent.
The disparity between the homeownership rate for white households and that of other racial and ethnic groups remains huge. The rate for those identifying as non-Hispanic white was 75.8 percent while those who identify as black alone was 46.4 percent, Hispanic of any race had a 50.9 percent rate; the Asian, native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders rate was 61.0 percent and all other races came in at 58.0 percent.
The national vacancy rate was 6.4 percent for rental housing and 0.9 percent for homeowner housing compared to 6.8 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in the third quarter of last year. About 90 percent of the 141 million residential units in the U.S. were occupied, in the third quarter, 60.6 percent by owners and 29.3 percent by renters. The number of units increased by 1.2 million units over the course of four quarters and the number of occupied units grew by 4.0 million.
The median asking price for vacant rental units during the quarter of $1,160 per month. The asking sales price for vacant for sale units was $234,500.