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Home ownership falls to lowest level in 11 years

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans who own homes fell in the second quarter of the year to the lowest level since 1999, said a government survey released Tuesday.

The Census Bureau said the home ownership rate fell to 66.9% in the second quarter of 2010, down half a percentage point from the previous year. The home ownership rate was 67.1% in the first quarter of the year.

In the second quarter rates were highest in the Midwest, where 70.8% of people are homeowners, and lowest in the West, where 61.4% of people own.

Rates in the South and West were lower than a year ago, while the Northeast and Midwest stayed the same.

Vacancies: The vacancy rate in non-rental units also fell in the second quarter, to 2.5%. Meanwhile, the vacancy rate in rental homes stayed steady at 10.6%.

Almost 86% of U.S. homes were occupied in the second quarter, with owner-occupied housing comprising 57.3% of all housing units. Renter-occupied homes were 28.3% of all units.

A separate report released Tuesday, the Case-Shiller index, showed home prices rose 1.3% in May compared with the previous month. To top of page

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