Home ownership facts


According to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s homeownership rate hasn’t been this low since 1995. In the third quarter of 2013, the rate of homeownership was 65.3 percent.

Homeownership has likely fallen during the housing re- bound due to the large number of investors currently buying homes.

To put things in perspec- tive, it’s interesting to look at international rates of home- ownership. Our rates are nei- ther unusually high nor low by international standards. There are poorer countries with more home and richer ones with fewer. Almost all Bulgar- ians and Lithuanians own their homes, while only 42 percent of Germans and even fewer Swiss do.

The biggest gains in U.S. homeownership came in the two decades after the Great Depression as transportation from job centers to suburbs improved and buyers took advantage of the new 30-year mortgage and Veterans Admin- istration-insured mortgage created by the GI Bill. The homeownership rate climbed 18 percentage points from 1940 to 1960, when it reached 61.9 percent. 

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