Yesterday, the Census Bureau released its measure of homeownership for 2016 and the annual average for 2016 was 63.4 percent. That’s the lowest rate measured since 1965 when the homeownership rate was 63 percent. 2016 was also the twelfth year in a row in which the homeownership rate was lower than the year prior. In other words, the homeownership rate in the US has been falling since 2004. I don’t mention this as evidence one way or another about the state of the US economy. The homeownership rate should not be seen as some sort of general index about prosperity in the United States or anywhere else. After all, homeownership rates in Switzerland tend to be considerably lower than those in the United States. Switzerland’s homeownership rate is approximately 45 percent. Meanwhile, the homeownership rate in Italy, where the economy is on the brink of a banking crisis, is quite high, at 72 percent.
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