Homeownership slips in the county

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

Clark County homeownership declined from 69.2 percent in the 2000 census to 65.8 percent in 2010, slightly above the national average, according to the Census Bureau.

The national rate of 65.1 percent, down from 66.2 percent, marked the most significant drop in homeownership since between the 1930 census and 1940 census, said Ellen Wilson, survey statistician at the Census Bureau.

Renters made up 34.2 percent of the county's occupied housing units in 2010, compared with 30.8 percent in 2000.

The county’s vacant housing units, not reserved for seasonal use, inched up from about 3.5 percent in 2000 to 5 percent in 2010, a possible symptom of foreclosures during the recession. When vacant seasonal housing was factored in, the vacancy rate actually declined from 6.6 percent in 2000 to 5.6 percent in 2010.

Nationwide, the vacancy rate climbed to 11.4 percent.

“It’s usually been below 10 percent,” Wilson said. “It’s higher than in previous decades.”