I just picked this up from CRS Member Connect and found it very interesting given the pace and tone of news about U.S. housing and homeownership over the past year or so:
U.S. Homeownership Rate Holds Steady
"The U.S. homeownership rate held steady at 67.2 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009, slightly lower than the 67.6 percent rate posted in the third quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau."
Of course, the nature of the housing market is that downturns (and tax credits) attract new buyers, even as many other home owners are struggling through short sales and foreclosures, or just accepting smaller net proceeds than they had expected, so it really shouldn't be surprising that almost as many people own homes now as did before the downturn. Supply, demand, and pricing adjust to keep the market moving. That's not what many national news stories would leave consumers to believe, however.
We are absolutely not out of the woods nationally, but most analysts remain optimistic about continued gains in 2010, albeit small ones. Meanwhile, the American dream of homeownership is alive and well!