Census: Homeownership hit 15-year low in 1Q

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Associated Press

Posted on April 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 30 at 10:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American dream of homeownership is at its lowest point in 15 years, the latest evidence of a housing market still far from recovering five years after the housing crash.

New figures released Monday by the Census Bureau show the rate of U.S. homeownership fell in the first three months of this year to 65.4 percent. That's down from 66.4 percent in the first quarter last year.

The last time the rate hit 65.4 percent was in the first quarter of 1997. The rate peaked in the fourth quarter of 2004, during the high-flying days of the housing boom.

Recent housing and economic data have been encouraging, prompting some economists to predict a pickup in housing this year. But few believe the U.S. will ever return to its mid-decade peak.

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