Homeownership rate heading downward
In case you're squinting at the figures (sorry), the chart follows the rate during the first quarter of the years 1968-2008. It peaked in 2005 at 69.1 percent and is now at 67.8 percent.
A variety of industry experts and economists have suggested that the homeownership rate got too high during the boom, pushed upward by loose lending and a political focus on turning renters into owners.
The downward trend of the last few years isn't as steep as the falloff during the early- to mid-1980s, when high interest rates (as in 18 percent in some months) made buying difficult. It's not over until it's over, of course.