The 2004 rate of homeownership in the U.S. was 69%. In 2008, the rate dropped to 67.8%.

By demographic, the rate of homeownership among whites declined from 76.1% to 74.9%, among African-Americans from 49.4% to 47.5%, and among native and foreign-born Latinos from 49.8% to 48.9%.

The most notable statistic? In 2006, only 17.5% of white homebuyers took subprime loans, while Hispanics took 44.9% and African-Americans took 52.8%.

first tuesday take: Alarming numbers of California homebuyers took on subprime mortgages during the real estate boom. Among them, some 700,000 have yet to go through the foreclosure process. In the end, the nation will eventually return to the stable 64% of homeownership which existed for the 20 years preceding 2000. Californians never did get to that 64% or to the 69% homeownership the nation experienced and for good reason; Californians are generally far too creative and upwardly mobile to be tied to a home. California, with its still rising unemployment rate and its high concentration of minority groups who took on subprime mortgages, will see a definite decline in homeownership rates through 2013; good news for investors looking to buy and hold rental properties based on classic income property fundamentals.

Re: “Homeownership Losses Are Greatest Among Minorities, Report Finds” from The New York Times