Florida homeownership rates on the decline

Mike Larson
Mike Larson

Homeownership rates in Florida, which began to dwindle even during the last real estate boom, are unlikely to recover to their historic highs, the Sun-Sentinel reported, citing a U.S. Census Bureau report.

The latest Census report found that Florida’s rate of owner-occupied homes dropped to 66 percent in the second quarter this year, down from 72.1 percent in the second quarter of 2005.

“You have a whole generation that might like to be homeowners but are not afraid to rent if they need to. In many cases that’s all they can afford to do,” Mike Larson, a housing analyst at Weiss Research in Jupiter, told the Sentinel.

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From the end of World War II, Florida boasted consistently higher rates of home ownership than the national average for five decades as retirees migrated to the Sunshine State in search of low prices and low taxes, the Sentinel said.

The trend began to shift after insurance companies jacked up rates following a bout of devastating hurricanes in 2005.

The coup de grâce for Florida homeownership, though, was 2007’s housing bust, triggering one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the U.S. [Sun-Sentinel]Emily Schmall