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Homeownership low as U.S. moves toward “rentership society”

July 21, 2011 12:32PM

U.S. homeownership rates are below 60 percent when delinquent borrowers are discounted, an indication of the country’s move toward a “rentership society,” according to a Morgan Stanley report released yesterday, cited by Bloomberg News.

The national homeownership percentage was 66.4 in March but would be only 59.7 percent without 7.5 million delinquent owners who will likely soon be forced into renting. The lowest rate on record was 62.9 percent in 1965, the first year the census began, Bloomberg said. The highest rate on record was 69.2 percent in 2004.

Mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures and tighter credit are stymieing property buying, Morgan Stanley analyst Oliver Chang said.

“Taken together they are forcibly moving the country away from being an ownership society,” he said. “This change is only beginning, and is moving the country towards becoming a rentership society.” [Bloomberg]