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Report: Home ownership rates remain solid in South Carolina

While the American Dream in the traditional sense has undergone something of a drastic transformation over the last several decades, there are still some tenets that remain unchanged. For example, many Americans still strive to own their home so that they can establish roots and become part of the local community.

Unfortunately, a recently released report from the U.S. Census Bureau has determined that the dream of home ownership continues to remain out of the grasp of many Americans, falling to its lowest rate in nearly two decades.

The report found that the national rate of home ownership -- defined as the percentage of all households occupied by owners -- was 65 percent in the second quarter. This constitutes a drop of .5 points from the same time last year and the second lowest rate since the 64.7 percent reached in 1995.

According to the Census Bureau, the drop in the national home ownership rates could likely be attributed to continuing fallout from the recent recession which saw many homeowners displaced, as well as the relatively low housing inventory across the country.

Some real estate experts have pointed out that the spike in home ownership rates between 1996 and 2004 was actually more of an anomaly than many people believe. To support this claim, they point to Census Bureau records on home ownership, which date back to 1960. Here, these records show that the rate didn't surpass 65 percent until 1978 and only stayed above this figure for three years before dropping back below. The rate then remained steady for quite some time before finally climbing above 65 percent in 1996 and reaching it's all time peak of 69.2 in 2004.

It should be noted that the Census Bureau report actually had good news here in South Carolina, as the rate of home ownership was 72.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013. This constitutes an increase of .5 points from the same time last year.

It will be interesting to see if these home ownership rates stay strong or drop as the year progresses.

Source: Myrtle Beach Online, "SC home ownership rate better than U.S. average," Steve Jones, August 2, 2013

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