The national vacancy rate hovered around 7.4% for rental housing and 1.8% for homeowner housing, barely moving from the second quarter’s results, according to the homeownership report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Perhaps more concerning, the number of Americans who own their own home, mortgaged or not, continues to slip.

The homeownership rate of 64.4% was 0.9 percentage points lower than the third quarter 2013 rate (65.3%) and 0.3 percentage points lower than the rate last quarter (64.7%).

For the racial categories, the homeownership rate for non-Hispanic White householders reporting a single race was highest at 72.6%.

The rate for all other races householders was second at 54.2%.

Black householders was lowest, as a single group, at 42.9%.

So, as more Americans move into rentals, the vacancy rate reflects this growing demand. In short, fewer rental properties are available.

The rental vacancy rate of 7.4% was 0.9 percentage points lower than the rate in the third quarter 2013 and 0.1 percentage point lower than the rate last quarter.

Also staying relatively still, the homeowner vacancy rate of 1.8% was 0.1 percentage point lower than the rate in the third quarter 2013 and the rate last quarter.

(Source Census Bureau; click to enlarge)

Homeownership rate

Regionally, the vacancy rate sat at 9.2% in the South and 8.5% in the Midwest, compared to a lower rate of 5.3% in the Northeast and 5.5% in the West.

The rental vacancy rates in the Northeast and South were lower than the third quarter 2013 rates, while the rates in the Midwest and West were not statistically different from the third quarter 2013 rates.

On the other side, the homeowner vacancy rate in the South (2%) was higher than the rates in the Northeast (1.6%) and West (1.5%), but not statistically different from the rate in the Midwest (1.8%).

The homeowner vacancy rates in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West were not statistically different from the rates last year.

For the racial categories, the homeownership rate for non-Hispanic White householders reporting a single race was highest at 72.6%. The rate for all other races householders was second at 54.2%. Black householders was lowest at 42.9%. The homeownership rate for non-Hispanic White householders was lower than the third quarter 2013 rate, while the rates for all other race and Black alone householders were not statistically different from the rate last year.