Homeownership slips to 18 year low

, Written by Jennifer Elliott, Posted: Tue, April 29 2014 at 3:57 PM, Updated: Tue, April 29 2014 at 10:30 PM

Phoenix, Ore. -- It's part of the American dream: owning a home, but a new report from the Census Bureau says home-ownership is at an eighteen year low.

"We wiped out all of our savings trying to save the house," says Phoenix resident Blanca Reyes. She owned a home for 21 years, but lost it when the economy tanked.


"It was heartbreaking, the year prior our house was appraised at $325,000.  When we put it on short-sale, it was appraised at $225,000," says Reyes.

Now Reyes is one of millions of Americans renting. The US Census Bureau reports that first quarter home-ownership is at the lowest it's been since 1995, at 64.8 percent.

Broker Alice Lema is working with Reyes in getting back into the market. Lema says there are many reasons people don't own a home. Some are scared to buy and others are living with family members and simply can't afford their own place.

"Our recovery is only 1 and a half to 2 years at the best. That homeownership number will take a while to come back," says Lema.

As a result, rental vacancy rates are also low, at 8.3 percent nationally. Lema says it's at only 1% in Southern Oregon, which keeps rent high.

"The average price in East Medford for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home is over $1200 a month," says Lema.


"We've had our kids move in. They've paid half rent which helps us put money aside, and so they can established an income to buy a house for themselves," says Reyes.

Repercussions of the 2008 recession continuing to effect millions of Americans, like Blanca Reyes.

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About the Author

Jennifer Elliott

NBC5 News at Sunrise co-anchor Jennifer Elliott spent most of her life in the Rogue Valley.

After graduating from Brigham Young University–Idaho, she was excited to come home again. Jennifer began her career at NBC5 in 2011 as a production assistant.

Her loves include drawing, playing the organ, fishing and of course, her husband and young son.

Catch Jennifer co-anchoring with Travis Koch weekdays on NBC 5 News at Sunrise starting at 5:30am.

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