Homeownership Drops to Near 50-Year Lows

Homeownership rate continues to slump
Homeownership rate continues to slump

Despite months-long speculation that the nation is primed for a housing recovery, homeownership -- a tenet of the quintessential American life -- is far from making a comeback.

According to industry projections, millions of homes spiraling toward foreclosure are putting homeownership in jeopardy of its lowest level in 50 years, reports USA Today.

By 2012, the rate could fall to 62 percent, roughly equivalent to 1960, when the level of homeownership plummeted to 61.9 percent.

Though statistics show that homeownership has been on a gradual decline since the housing bubble burst in 2006, the new estimates are a considerable drop from where things currently stand. In the second quarter of this year, the rate dipped to 66.9 percent, the Census Bureau says.

So, is homeownership wilting because we can't afford it -- or because we no longer want it?