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The recently released Census Homeownership and Vacancy Survey (HVS) for the fourth quarter of 2016 shows that throughout last year, homeownership fell slightly to an unadjusted rate of 63.7 percent. This number is just a smidge below 2015’s 63.8 percent, and up from 2016’s third quarter number of 63.5 percent, showing a possible plateau for homeownership across the country. There are many speculative reasons for this, from the low inventory of starter homes to the massive wall of debt many millennials are faced with.

New households are still forming slowly—just 0.5 percent year-over-year in the last quarter—but many of them are made of up renters, not owners. In 2016, about 46 percent of new households were owned, with the rest comprised of renters. In the fourth quarter of 2016, 87.3 percent of the housing units in the U.S. were occupied, with 12.7 percent vacant. Owner-occupied units made up 55.6 percent of these occupied homes, while renter-occupied units made up 31.7 percent of the inventory.

According to the HVS report, national vacancy rates in the fourth quarter 2016 were 6.9 percent for rentals and 1.8 percent for homeowner housing. Neither of these rates were statistically different from the fourth quarter 2015, when the rental vacancy landed at 7.0 percent and the ownership was at 1.9 percent.

To view the full HVS report, click here.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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