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Why Inland home ownership numbers are unsteady

By in Press Enterprise on July 28, 2017

By Richard DeAtley

The home ownership rate for the Inland area was 58.4 percent for the second quarter of 2017, a slip from 61 percent in the first quarter and down more than 4 points from the same quarter a year ago, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday.

The numbers reflect a fluctuating post-Great Recession pattern for Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area. As the recession took hold in 2008, home ownership was 69.2 percent in that year’s second quarter.

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It fell predictably over the next few years, hitting 53.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, with rises and falls in between. It was as high as 64.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The numbers reflect the larger statewide housing crisis, blamed on low inventory, development hampered by layers of local and state regulations, and slow income growth failing to match price appreciation.

Nationally, the second quarter 2017 home ownership rate was 63.7 percent, and for California it was almost 10 points lower, at 53.8 percent.

Homeowner vacancy for the Inland area was 2.9 percent, up from 1.3 percent for the first quarter. It was 1.1 percent for California.

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