The percentage of home ownership is at its lowest point in the last 20 years resulting in the strongest rental market in the past 20 years! About 71 percent of Minnesotans owned their home last year, the lowest annual rate since 1993 when the rate stood at 68.9 percent, according to census numbers. Home ownership fell again during the first quarter of 2012 to about 70 percent. During the height of the housing bubble, the home ownership rate in Minnesota was one of the highest in the nation, hitting 79 percent in early 2005.How does this effect the rental market? According to the Census Bureau, every 1 percent drop in ownership rates translates into about 1.14 million units of additional rental demand. For now, those low vacancy rates mean landlords are able to charge higher rents. The average rent price for all units last quarter was up 2.2 percent. While construction of rental units is picking up, completion is not expected until 2013-2014 for most buildings, so for now the vacancy rate will remain very low and the rent will continue to be high.