A record number of homes stood unoccupied in the first quarter, and the U.S. homeownership rate fell as the recession sapped demand for real estate.

The number of vacant homes, including foreclosures, properties for sale and vacation properties, jumped 2.7% from a year earlier, to 19.1 million, the Census Bureau said Monday. The percentage of households that own their own residence declined for the third straight quarter, to 67.3%.

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