The U.S. homeownership rate remained stable to slightly higher in the second quarter, fueling more hope that its post-crisis decline is ending.

Homeownership inched up to 63.7% from 63.6% the previous quarter and was higher than a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

During the run-up to the housing boom in the first quarter of 2005, the homeownership rate got as high as 69.1%. It hit its post-crisis low of 62.9% in the second quarter of last year. It has been largely stable or a bit higher since then.

The homeownership rate remains strongest in the Midwest at 68% and weakest in the West at 58.9%. It was 68% in the South and 60.4% in the Northeast.

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