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In the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis, data released by the Commerce Department Wednesday showed homeownership in the U.S. had fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade.
The national homeownership rate during the first quarter of this year was just 66.4 percent, down slightly from the mark of 66.5 percent from the final three months of last year and 67.1 percent a year ago.
It was the lowest homeownership rate since 1998, and well off the recent peak of 69.2 percent seen at the end of 2004.
The drop in ownership has been countered by reduced availability for rentals. According to the report, rental vacancies have dropped from 10.6 percent to 9.7 percent over the past 12 months.
However, the decrease in homeownership has actually made buying Houston homes, and others across the country, more affordable in comparison to renting. A recent report from the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies found that the cost of renting a home has increased significantly in recent years.