Many people are finding it tougher to achieve the dream of home ownership, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The rate of home ownership declined to 66.1% in the third quarter of 2010, compared with a peak of 69.1% back in the first quarter of 2005 when the housing market was still going strong.
The troubled economy, falling home values, and high unemployment rate make it difficult for many people to buy property. In fact, many Americans have chosen to move in with family members or friends because they can't afford to make it on their own and/or want to save money.
Census Bureau data show that real median income in the U.S. fell 2.9% to $51,726 in 2009 from $50,221 in 2008. Real median income dropped in 34 states and rose in only one: North Dakota.
Census data also show that fewer people are getting married. Only 52% of people 18 and up were married in 2009, compared with 57% in 2000. It appears that many couples are choosing to live together without being married in order to avoid making a long-term commitment.
It would follow then that many couples who are cohabiting probably are not in the market to buy a home since they haven't made a solid commitment to stay together no matter what happens with the economy. So it will be interesting to see if home ownership rates will continue to fall if marriage rates don't begin to climb again.