Home Ownership Dips To New Low While We Become A Renter's Nation

As the share of home owners in the United States keeps sliding down, marching right upward is the amount of us who are now renting our residences. Makes sense — if you can’t afford to own a home, you’ve got to find somewhere to live in the meantime. And not everyone has access to their parents’ basement.

CNBC cites a new report from the Census Bureau that shows that the share of U.S. household renting is at a 15-year high, while home ownership reached a 15-year low. Quite a different kind of position for both in that span of time.

Of American households in the first quarter of 2012, 34.6% are renters, partly due to lack of credit or just not having enough cash for a down payment to buy a home. This means there aren’t as many rentals available, which could make it harder to find an apartment or home for renters.

The good news is that homeowner vacancies are down as well, which could help out the housing market. Empty houses are a blight on communities, and perhaps cause others to leave the neighborhood or see their property decrease in value.

Another positive sign for the whole housing market is that some younger Americans are finally seeing an uptick in the job market, which in turn drops the unemployment rate for the 25-34 age group. Once you’ve got a job, what do you do? Move out of your parents’ basement and into your own household, even if it is just a rental.

Despite High Affordability, Renter Nation Reigns [CNBC]