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Home ownership at all-time high.

The city's home ownership rates hit an all-time high last year, according to figures just released by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The annual Housing and Vacancy Survey shows that the homeownership rate in the city was 33.3 percent in 2005, the highest since since 1965. And, in further evidence of the housing construction boom, separate data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the number of new housing units authorized for construction in 2005 was the highest since 1972, leading to even larger increases in the housing stock that will be shown in the next HVS. In addition, both New Yorkers' satisfaction with their neighborhoods and overall building conditions were the best ever in the 27-years since the HVS started examining them.

The 2005 HVS shows that the city's total inventory of residential units was 3.3 million, the largest housing stock in the forty-year period since the first HVS was conducted in 1965. Stock increased by 52,000 between 2002 and 2005, the largest increase since 1991. The number of rent-stabilized units rose from 1,042,397 in 2002 to 1,043,677 in 2005.

"With the largest housing stock recorded since the first HVS was conducted, the homeownership rate at an all-time high and the number of rent-stabilized units remaining steady, this Survey shows that our New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of housing over ten years is producing big results," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"The survey charts the building boom that is developing new housing across the city for our growing population. We are creating new homeownership opportunities and building affordable and rent-stabilized apartments for working New York families. Our Housing Plan is helping to revive neighborhoods throughout the city, with the survey reporting neighborhood conditions the best since the HVS started."

The 2005 HVS finds that the number of vacant rental units in New York City was 64,737 and therefore the citywide rental vacancy rate was 3.09 percent during the period between February and June 2005.

While the survey shows a strong increase in the City's housing stock, the vacancy rate is significantly lower than the 5% threshold mandated by State and City laws to justify the continuation of rent control and rent stabilization.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Feb 15, 2006
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