Homeownership in the St. Louis area remains among the highest in the nation, despite a recent decline.
Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau today shows a homeownership rate of just over 70 percent from 2010 through 2012. That's down almost two-percent from the prior three-year period. But the current statistics put St. Louis second behind Minneapolis in the nation's 50 largest metro areas.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the numbers vary widely across the region, with more than 80 percent of homes in Jefferson and St. Charles counties being owner-occupied, compared with less than 45 percent in City of St. Louis.
Troubled homeowners could be getting some help as soon as next week.
Borrowers who are at least 90 days behind on their mortgage and have loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will start receiving offers from lenders to lower payments. This is part of an effort called the "Streamlined Modification Initiative". The exact number of homeowners who will receive offers is not known.
A couple of other restrictions on eligible loans; owners cannot be more than 24 months behind and the loan has to be at least a year old.