Though the U.S. housing stock tallied 2 million more units since last year, 2/3 of the newly built homes have no owners. The Census Bureau today reported the number of homes occupied by their owner fell to 75.2 million, a half million drop from a year earlier. Home ownership fell to 68.1% in the third quarter, marking a 4-year low. As a result, vacant housing units for sale increased by 139,000 to 2.1 million, gaining 7% in the third quarter.
As for second homes, the number of unoccupied seasonal units rose to 4.6 million, an increase of 14%, while vacant year-round second homes rose by 8% to 7.4 million.
Of course, displaced homeowners have to live somewhere, as rented homes rose by 1.1 million to 35.1 million. The rise in non-ownership occupancy is indicative of the credit crunch, which has made ownership unaffordable for many U.S. citizens.