Americans opt to rent homes, not buy

June 21, 2008 at 6:14 PM

WASHINGTON, June 21 (UPI) -- The unstable U.S. real estate market has prompted an increasing number of Americans to opt for renting apartments and homes instead of buying, analysts say.

The number of Americans choosing to rent homes is the highest its been since U.S. President George W. Bush launched a campaign to increase homeownership six years ago, The New York Times reported Saturday.

"We're seeing more dramatic growth in renters and a decline in the number of owners. People are beginning to understand that homeownership can be a very risky venture," said William C. Apgar, of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University in Massachusetts.

The percentage of homes owned by residents dropped to 67.8 percent this year, compared to a record high of 69.1 percent two years ago, census data indicates.

Data indicates the percentage of homes being rented went up to 32.2 percent, compared to 30.9 in 2005.

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