That’s according to an analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey data by Jed Kolko of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California, Berkeley, which says that the U.S. homeownership rate dipped to 63 percent in 2015. Homeownership has declined every year since 2006, when it peaked at 67.3 percent.
Due to affordability issues and a slim supply of homes for sale, the San Francisco metropolitan area has among the lowest five homeownership rates in the nation, at 53.5 percent. The San Jose metro area, which has seen income growth surge since the recession’s end, fares slightly better, with a homeownership rate of 56.2 percent.
Income growth helped push the number of cost-burdened households — defined as those that spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing — down for the fifth consecutive year for bother renters and homeowners. Overall, 33.6 percent of Americans are classified as cost-burdened as of last year. The number of cost-burdened renters fell to 49.1 percent, while low mortgage rates helped reduced the number of cost-burdened homeowners to 29.9 percent, the lowest level in a decade.
The Bay Area’s high cost of living makes for a greater percentage of cost-burdened residents than the national average in both San Francisco and San Jose, a respective 38.7 percent and 37.3 percent. Costs are taking an even bigger toll in Southern California, with almost half of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside metro area residents classified as cost-burdened.
The U.S. vacancy rate for all property types dropped to 8.1 percent, the lowest since the last housing boom. San Jose has the lowest vacancy rate in the nation, at 3.4 percent. In San Francisco, the vacancy rate is 4.1 percent, the country’s the fourth fewest. Those findings echo a recent report from ATTOM Data Solutions, which puts San Jose’s vacancy rate as the lowest in the U.S. in the third quarter.
(Photo: Flickr/Eric Skiff)