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Homeownership in the United States has been in a slow and steady decline since reaching an all-time high of 69.2% in 2004. Defined as the percentage of homes that are owner-occupied (as opposed to the percentage of adults that own their own home), the homeownership rate declined to 65.1% in 2010, the lowest level since the mid-1990s. However, according to a recent study by Morgan Stanley, once delinquent mortgage borrowers are excluded, the effective homeownership rate is actually below 60%, which would represent the lowest level since the US Census Bureau began keeping quarterly statistics in 1965. The dwindling percentage doesn’t fully explain the magnitude of the decrease of Americans owning homes, which, when using the 2010 number of occupied housing units, represents approximately 4.75 million housing units changing from owner-occupied to renter-occupied. Once those delinquent mortgage borrowers are factored in, the number of housing units no longer considered to be owner-occupied effectively rises above 11 million.

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