HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-85
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 11:00 a.m. Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD office April 26, 2000


WASHINGTON - America's homeownership rate rose to a record high in the first quarter of 2000, with 67.1 percent of all families owning their homes, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said today.

A total of 70.7 million American families owned their homes in the first quarter of the year - more than at any time in American history.

There were 58.2 million white, 6.1 million African American, 4.3 million Hispanic, and 2.2 million Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander families who were homeowners in the first three months of this year. In all, 8.9 million more families owned homes in the first quarter of 2000 than when President Clinton took office in 1993. The homeownership rate stood at 64 percent in early 1993 - 3.1 percent below the first quarter of 2000.

Because of the continued strong growth rate among minority homeowners, a total of 40 percent of the net new homeowners since 1994 are minorities - even though minorities account for just 23 percent of the population.

In addition, all-time record quarterly homeownership rates were set in the first quarter of this year for African Americans (47.8 percent), and for the central cities (51.2 percent). Despite these gains, minority and urban homeownership rates still lagged far behind the white homeownership rate (73.4 per cent) and the suburban homeownership rate (73.8 percent).

"The record homeownership rate shows clearly that the economic policies of the Clinton-Gore Administration are creating better lives for growing numbers of American families," Cuomo said. "While record national prosperity is benefiting more Americans than ever before, it highlights the need to unlock the door to homeownership for still more families and to eliminate the homeownership gap dividing whites from minorities and cities from suburbs."

The new 67.1 percent homeownership rate tops the previous all-time quarterly record of 67.0 percent set in the third quarter of 1999. The first quarter covers January, February and March.

Here are figures showing how the homeownership rate changed from the fourth quarter of 1999 to the first quarter of 2000, measuring the percentage of all households owning their homes and listing breakdowns by racial and ethnic groups, as well as location. The category of OTHER includes Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. Rates that set new quarterly records are in bold and with asterisks.

Fourth Quarter 1999 First Quarter 2000
NATION OVERALL 66.9% 67.1% *
WHITE (non-Hispanic) 73.3% 73.4%
BLACK (non-Hispanic) 47.3% 47.8% *
HISPANIC 45.5% 45.7%
OTHER (non-Hispanic) 54.6% 54.2%
CENTRAL CITIES 50.9% 51.2% *
SUBURBS 73.3% 73.8%

Studies have shown that homeowners accumulate wealth as the investment in their homes grows, enjoy better living conditions, are often more involved in their communities, and have children who tend on average to do better in school and are less likely to become involved with crime. Communities benefit from real estate taxes homeowners pay, and from stable neighborhoods homeowners create.

Many Clinton Administration programs have helped boost the homeownership rate. Among them are: 1) HUD's new requirement that the nation's two largest housing finance companies (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) buy $2.4 trillion in mortgages over the next 10 years to provide affordable housing for about 28.1 million low- and moderate-income families. 2) HUD's crackdown on housing discrimination. 3) Action by the Federal Housing Administration (which is part of HUD), that has insured more than 6.8 million home mortgages since 1993 - many of them going to minorities and central city residents.

On top of these initiatives, the Community Reinvestment Act - a federal law that requires lenders to make loans to all segments of the communities they serve - has resulted in more loans to people in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods since it was enacted in 1977. A significant portion of these funds has been used for mortgage lending that has boosted homeownership. Community groups estimate that lenders have pledged more than $1 trillion in CRA loans since 1977.


Content Archived: December 13, 2009