Rental and Housing Vacancy Remain Low

According to the Census Bureau’s quarterly survey, the rental vacancy rate increased 10 basis points to 8.3% during the first quarter of 2014. Even with the slight increase, rental vacancy rates remain at levels not seen since 2001. The current reading is 30 basis points below the first quarter of 2013.

The homeowner vacancy rate decreased in the first quarter of 2014. The current reading is 2.0% or 10 basis points below last quarter and 10 basis points below the first quarter of 2013.

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The seasonally adjusted homeownership rate, according to Census data, was 65.0% during the first quarter of 2014, down slightly from the prior quarter and one year ago. The homeownership rate remains below the historical 20-year average of 66.9%.

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The homeownership rate not adjusted for seasonality was 64.8% during the first quarter of 2014. The unadjusted rate is down from last quarter (40 basis points) and from one year ago (20 basis points).

The homeownership rates held steady over the first quarter of 2014 for those aged between 45 and 54. The homeownership rate decreased over the first quarter of 2014 for all other age groups. Those under 35 saw a drop of 60 basis points to a homeownership rate of 36.2%, the lowest level since the Census provided a breakout by age. This age group represents a key demographic for the housing industry.

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Across regions, homeownership rate increased over the first quarter of 2014 in the West. Homeownership rates decreased from last quarter in the Northeast, Midwest, and South. For the most recent reading, the largest year-over-year percentage point decline in the homeownership rate occurred in the Midwest (70 basis points).

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In a recent post, NAHB examines characteristics of owners and renters. The analysis finds that the typical renter-occupied household is headed by an individual between 25 to 34 years with a median household income of $31,888. The typical owner-occupied household is headed by an individual between 45 to 54 years with a median household income of $65,514.



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  1. Real Estate News – April 30, 2014

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