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by CareyBot

The home-ownership rate continues to retreat from record highs, as the number of owner-occupied homes declined in a year when the nation added 2 million new housing units. A new Census Bureau report shows the home-ownership rate slipped to 67.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2007, down a full percentage point from 68.9 percent a year ago. The home-ownership rate, which had hovered around 64 percent during the 1980s and early 1990s, began a steady upward climb in 1995. The rate broke the 69 percent threshold during three quarters in 2004 and 2005 before beginning a retreat last year. Erosion of the home-ownership rate appeared to accelerate in the fourth quarter, falling 40 basis points from the 68.2 percent rate recorded in the second and third quarters of 2007. At the r...