• After across-the-board declines in 2011, all major house price indexes registered significant increases in 2012.
• Between 2011 and 2012, existing home sales increased 9.4 percent to 4.66 million units, representing the largest percentage increase since 2003–04 and accelerating to their fastest pace since 2007.
• Fueled by the growing share of households opting to rent, the US rental vacancy rate fell for the third straight year to 8.7 percent in 2012, down from 9.5 percent in 2011 and 10.6 percent in 2009 to its lowest level since 2001.
• Single-family construction starts were up a sharp 24.3 percent in 2012 to 535,300 units. Still, this was just half the average annual levels in the 1980s and 1990s.
• More members of groups with traditionally high homeownership rates are becoming renters, including married couples with children, high-income households, and white households.
• At 43.9 percent, the homeownership rate for African-American households is at its lowest level since 1995 and both the Hispanic homeownership rate (46.0 percent) and the white homeownership rate (73.5 percent) are at their lowest values in a decade.
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