Monday, November 14, 2011

Accelerating to Third World America: One Third of Home Occupants Rent and Eighteen Percent of US Homes Vacant

The economic and housing crises have wreaked massive changes in how Americans live, as we accelerate our slide into third world status.

A quarterly Census report on homeowner vacancy and homeownership states that of the 131 million homes in the U.S., 112.5 million are occupied and of those, 74.8 are owned. That means that about one third of the occupied homes in the U.S. are being rented.

A smart discussion of the report at CNBC explained that the number of unoccupied homes dropped, but that was because of a big uptick in rentals. The article observes,

Younger Americans have seen what home ownership has done to their friends and families, and many want no part of it. Credit has become very nearly elitist. Home prices, whatever your particular data provider preference might be, are still falling.

Banks, Fannie [ FNM 0.488 0.001 ( +0.21% ) ] and Freddie [ FRE 3.28 0.01 ( +0.31% ) ] are holding on to hundreds of thousands of properties, and we don't know exactly when or how they'll sell them.

Where do you think those 18.5 million homes mortgages are being held. I figure Fannie and Freddie are holding MILLIONS of empty home mortgages. They're going to have to either rent them or sell them-- probably to investors who will turn them into rentals.

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