The Census Bureau reports that the homeownership rate during the last three months of 2013 was down 0.2 percentage point from a year ago and 0.1 percentage point from the previous quarter. At 65.2 percent, the reported homeownership rate is about the same as it was in the late 1990s, before it soared to nearly 70 percent during the housing boom.

While the Census Bureau’s survey-based report might reveal general trends in homeowner and rental vacancy rates, Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride warns not to rely on the absolute numbers, which are tied to a couple of surveys and a Census that’s taken every 10 years.

The actual homeownership rate “is probably in the 64 percent to 65 percent range — and given changing demographics, the homeownership rate is probably close to a bottom,” McBride says. Source: calculatedriskblog.com.

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