Monday, September 24, 2012

Looking for Clues in the ACS

Last week the Census Bureau released 2011 American Community Survey data. The data dump includes tables comparing the social and economic characteristics of the U.S. before, during, and after the Great Recession--from 2007 through 2011. Some of the statistically significant changes provide clues about the direction of the housing market and the ongoing struggles of the American people...
  • The percentage of households without a vehicle has climbed steadily, growing from 8.7 percent in 2007 to 9.3 percent in 2011.
  • The percentage of owner-occupied housing units with a mortgage has fallen by 2 percentage points--from 68.4 percent in 2007 to 66.4 percent in 2011.
  • For homeowners with a mortgage, monthly owner costs have fallen from $1,725 in 2007 (in 2011 dollars) to $1,486 in 2011--a 14 percent decline.
  • Although the number of renters has grown, median monthly rent fell from $926 in 2007 (in 2011 dollars) to $871 in 2011--a 6 percent decline.
  • Although median rent has been falling, the share of renters who devote 35 percent or more of their household income to rent grew from 40 to 44 percent between 2007 and 2011.
Source: Census Bureau, American Community Survey

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