The U.S. homeownership rate rose above 69% for the first time ever in the second quarter due to a jump in homeownership among whites and blacks.The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the U.S. homeownership rate increased from 68.6% in the first quarter to 69.2% in the second quarter -- a new record. Since the second quarter of 2003, the number of homeowners increased by 1.7 million, including 783,000 in the second quarter alone, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. "These numbers, combined with the news earlier this week of a record sales pace ... show that housing still leads the way in our rapidly recovering economy," HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson said. "The Bush administration is committed to building on these accomplishments by breaking down the barriers and making it easier for more families to realize the dream of homeownership." The second-quarter data show that the homeownership rate for whites rose from 75.5% in the first quarter to 76.2%. For blacks it rose from 49.3% in the first quarter to 49.7%, and for Hispanics it rose from 47.3% to 47.4%.

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