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CUOMO SAYS 1998 ANNUAL HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE HITS RECORD ANNUAL HIGH OF 66.3%, WITH 69.1 MILLION FAMILIES OWNING THEIR HOMES
WASHINGTON - America's homeownership rate hit a record annual high in 1998, with 66.3 percent of all households owning their own homes, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced today.
A total of 69.1 million families owned homes at the end of 1998, Cuomo said - 7.3 million more than when President Clinton took office in 1993.
"More American families owned homes in 1998 than in any year in U.S. history, including more minorities than ever," Cuomo said. "As a result of President Clinton's policies, homeownership has been transformed from an impossible dream into a beautiful reality for millions of our people. All across this country, low interest rates, low unemployment, business prosperity and our homeownership initiatives are turning renters into homeowners."
The percentage of households owning their homes jumped from 64 percent in 1993 to a record 65.7 percent in 1997 before hitting the new homeownership rate record of 66.3 percent last year, according to Census Bureau statistics.
A total of 41 percent of the net new homeowners since 1994 are minorities - even though minorities account for just 24 percent of the population.
Here's how the homeownership rate has risen since 1993, measuring the percentage of all households owning their own homes and then listing breakdowns by major racial and ethnic groups, as well as location:
The homeownership rate for the fourth quarter of 1998 also set a new record for a fourth quarter, hitting 66.4 percent - breaking the record fourth quarter high of 65.7 percent set in 1997.
1998 was also the first year that the central city homeownership rate hit the 50 percent mark. Central cities are defined as the largest communities in a metropolitan area.
In addition to hitting annual record highs in 1998, the African American and Hispanic homeownership rates continued growing twice as fast as the white homeownership rate, but still lagged too far behind, Cuomo said.
"We're working to open the door to homeownership for more Americans, no matter who they are and no matter where they live," Cuomo said. "Our goal is to shrink the vast homeownership gap dividing minorities from whites and dividing cities from their surrounding communities. Homeownership isn't a special privilege reserved for white suburbanites."
The 1998 annual homeownership rate also increased in all four regions of the country to the following percentage rates:
Homeownership has many benefits. Homeowners generally enjoy better living conditions than renters; accumulate wealth as their investment in their homes grows; strengthen the economy by purchases of homes, furniture and appliances; and tend to be more involved in promoting strong neighborhoods and good schools than renters.
For many families, taking a second mortgage on a home is a way of financing a new family business or a college education for a child. When parents who own a home die, the home is usually the most valuable asset they pass on to their children and helps the next generation find economic security.
While the booming economy and low mortgage interest rates have been the main factors in the growth in homeownership, Cuomo said Clinton Administration homeownership programs have also increased homeownership and will continue to do so in the future. For example:
Content Archived: January 20, 2009