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Demand for real estate rentals rises, homeownership rate drops

Homeowner vacancy rate stagnant in Q2

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Editor's note: This article is republished with permission of Builder magazine. View the original article: "Rental Vacancies Drop, While Empty Owned Units Stay Stagnant." By CLAIRE EASLEY In the teeter-tottering relationship between rental housing and homeownership, demand for rentals stayed up in the second quarter of 2011 while homeownership remained static, according to residential vacancy and homeownership data released by the U.S. Census Bureau at the end of July. While the national vacancy rate for rental housing dropped to 9.2 percent -- a decrease of 0.5 percentage points compared to the previous quarter and down 1.4 percentage points year-over-year -- the homeowner vacancy rate remained at 2.5 percent, a mere 0.1 percentage points lower than the previous quarter and unchanged from the year before. Overall, the homeownership rate dropped to 65.9 percent, down 1 percentage point from the previous year and down 0.5 percentage points from the first quarter...