The homeownership rate in the third quarter edged up from the 18-year low it hit the previous quarter, but the share of vacant homes — both for-sale homes and rentals — increased to the highest level recorded since before the housing bubble, according to a quarterly report released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In the third quarter of this year, the homeownership rate increased 0.3 percentage points to 65.3 percent after dropping to its lowest level since 1995 in the previous quarter, according to Census Bureau data.
Still, the homeownership rate was down 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier.
As Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko noted, the data also showed that the share of vacant homes being held off the market hit its highest level since 2000, rising to 53.4 percent.
“Some owners are surely holding their homes off the market in the hopes of continued rising prices,” Kolko said. “Census data also suggest more homes needing repairs and being prepared to be put on the market either as sales or rentals.”
“However, there are fewer vacant homes in the foreclosure process and in other legal proceedings,” he added.