The homeownership rate in New Jersey remains a far cry from where it was just 10 years ago, and it probably still hasn't hit bottom.

Tim Boyle, Getty Images

According to third quarter numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, owner-occupied homes made up 65.8 percent of households in the Garden State. That's an uptick from the previous quarter, but it's important to note the housing market is quite seasonal in the Northeast.

In any case, it's still well below the homeownership rate of 71.3 percent reached in early 2005.

And we're apparently not getting back to that level any time soon.

"The expectation is that over the next couple of years, we will see some further downward drift in the homeownership rate," said Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at CohnReznick in Roseland.

It won't be the same kind of precipitous drop seen earlier this decade, O'Keefe added, but a gradual reduction.

Why the continuous decline?

  • Millennials are not so interested in buying a home or becoming owners.
  • Baby boomers are aging out of owning and into renting.
  • Housing prices are not very attractive to those interested in purchasing a home as more than just shelter, but as an investment.

O'Keefe noted New Jersey and the nation have had similar profiles in their homeownership rates over the years, minus some timing differences.