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Economic Report: American homeownership increases again as housing market wobbles toward equilibrium

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Is it ownership that’s the American Dream — or just stable housing?

More Americans became homeowners in the summer months, fresh evidence of a housing market that’s finding some stability after several rocky years.

The national homeownership rate was 64.4% in the third quarter, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. That’s a half-percentage point higher than a year ago.

After touching an all-time high of 69.1% in 2004 as the housing bubble inflated, the homeownership rate bottomed out at 62.9% in 2016 as waves of Americans lost their homes or sold under duress. At the same time, many Americans who would ordinarily become buyers were locked out of the market by stringent lending rules, a lack of affordable inventory and a challenging economic backdrop.

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