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Homeownership Rate is Lowest in More than a Decade

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The number of households that own their homes is at the lowest it has been since 1999, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While the current rate of homeownership is 66.9 percent, in 1999 the rate was only slightly lower, at 66.7 percent.

A weak economy, high unemployment, falling home prices, tight mortgage underwriting and slow sales are among the reasons analysts cite to explain the low ownership rate, according to Consumer Affairs.

Before 1999's low homeownership statistics, the nation's rate dropped to 64 percent from 1985 to 1995.  However, the cases of owned homes rose during the Clinton and Bush administrations, peaking at 69 percent in 2004.

Additionally, 18.8 million homes, or 14.4 percent of all houses and apartments in America sit vacant, according to the Census Bureau.

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