California's housing market is still in turmoil with foreclosures, short sales and only a relative handful of new homes being built.
The bottom line, at least as shown by the 2010 census, is that California wound up with the nation's second lowest rate of home ownership, just ahead of New York, or third lowest if the District of Columbia is included, according to a new Census Bureau report.
California had 12.2 million housing units in 2000, the Census Bureau says, and while its population was growing by 10 percent during the succeeding decade, housing units rose by 12 percent to 13.7 million, of which 12.6 million were occupied. But those occupied by owners increased by just 7.5 percent.
That meant that 55.9 percent of California's houses, apartments, condominiums and other forms of housing were occupied by owners, barely higher than New York's 53.3 percent. Washington D.C.'s rate was 42 percent.
West Virginia, one of the nation's poorest states, had the highest rate of home ownership at 73.4 percent. The national rate was 65.1 percent. Overall, the Census Bureau said, the South and the West, which are the nation's fastest growing regions in population, also led in housing growth.