According to the Census Bureau, the homeownership rate in the U.S. dropped from 66.0 percent of households in the fourth quarter of 2011 to a mere 65.4 percent in Q4 2012. (It’s also down 0.1 percent from the third quarter.)

image

Meanwhile, the vacancy rate for houses was 1.9 percent — about half a percent lower than last year. In comparison, about 8.7 percent of rentals were vacant.

image

Rents have been rising steadily since 1995…

image

… while prices appear to have returned from their bubble-induced high:

image