U.S. Census Bureau: Home ownership remains steady in 3rd quarter 2010

November 02nd, 2010

Despite record foreclosures, the percentage of Americans who own their homes remains fairly stable. Demand for home ownership appears to be steady. Mortgage calculators are helping show the affordability of home ownership and reports show some stability in housing markets.

Steady as she goes

A report released Tuesday by the United States Census Bureau said that home ownership in the third quarter, from July 1 through September 30, was equivalent to the prior quarter with 66.9 percent of households owning their own home. This trend in the Census Bureau figures is consistent with data from the National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association, which track existing home sales and purchase mortgage applications respectively.

Despite some month to month fluctuations in home sales in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, overall market activity has been fairly constant. A relatively flat median price index across the country is indicative of the stability in the housing markets. Despite some variations from market to market and from month to month, overall prices in the 2nd and 3rd quarters reflect a fairly consistent demand.

Time to buy?

What does this mean to you if you are considering purchasing a home? Primarily it means that you can expect prices and affordability for your new home to remain pretty consistent through the end of the year. If your closing costs calculator results determine you need $18,500 to close on your desired purchase, or your monthly payment calculator shows your monthly payment to be $1,175 per month, the accumulation of housing market data predicts those figures are ones you should be able to use to make a decision.

While much of the media coverage has concentrated on the wave of foreclosures across the country, the untold story has been the number of home buyers that are absorbing those foreclosures being put on the market. Having reached a peak at almost 70 percent in 2004, the home ownership rate dropped to its current level in the 2nd quarter and has remained there since. The last time the level of home ownership was this low was in 1999 at 66.7 percent of homes being owner occupied.

Mortgage calculator can help you decide

According to the Census Bureau there are approximately 131 million housing units in the country, of which over 87 million are owner occupied. Are you ready to be one of the more than 87 million homeowners? Use free on-line mortgage calculators to determine your price range and take advantage of the stable housing market and historically low mortgage rates.

Posted By :
Dennis C. Smith is co-owner and broker of record for Stratis Financial in southern California. He has over twenty years' experience in the mortgage industry.

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