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A Look at Homeownership Rates Across the Nation

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Market Data + Trends

A Look at Homeownership Rates Across the Nation

Data for homeownership rates in the 100 largest US cities show Port St. Lucie, Fla., in the top spot, while West Virginia is the state with the most homeowners

April 9, 2024
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Image: pressmaster / stock.adobe.com

There's been plenty of fluctuation in U.S. homeownership rates over the past 60 years between the lowest low of 62.9%, in 1965 and then again in 2016, and a peak of 69.2% in 2004. Currently, the homeownership rate (percentage of occupied housing units where the resident is also the owner) is 65.2%, with renter-occupied housing units making up 34.8% of the national housing stock, according to recent reporting by real estate data company PropertyShark.com.

But homeownership rates vary by state and by city, influenced by a whole host of factors—economics, wages, domestic migration trends, home prices and availability of housing stock, lifestyle choices, and generational preferences, among others. The data show that states with lower population densities and home prices below the national median tend to have higher homeownership rates. Meanwhile, many large urban centers have been experiencing declines in homeownership, and in southern and coastal states that drop has been even more pronounced than in landlocked locales. New York and California—two coastal states where the local population tends to be concentrated in urban centers—have seen particularly sharp decreases in homeownership.

Among states, West Virginia (74.5%), Delaware (74.1%), and Maine (74.1%) took the lead for the highest homeownership rates in PropertyShark's rankings, while Washington, D.C. (41.0%), New York (54.1%), and California (55.8%) were ranked the lowest. 

PropertyShark also ranked 100 cities for homeownership and found the highest rates of ownership in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (84.6%), Gilbert, Ariz. (74.1%), and Chesapeake, Va., (73.3%), while Newark, N.J. (29.6%), Jersey City, N.J., (29.8%), and Miami (30.3%) ranked at the bottom. 

Interestingly, the data analysis found that there's no clear correlation between a state's property tax level and its homeownership rate, and that available inventory levels and the new-home construction supply pipeline are key drivers of homeownership by state, especially for first-time buyers seeking more affordable starter homes.

Read more and see the ranked lists here


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