Portland, Denver, and Seattle Don’t Follow Declining Homeownership Trend

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The increases in homeownership rates were mostly due to more people buying homes, not declines in renter households

September 16, 2016
Portland, Denver, and Seattle Don’t Follow Declining Homeownership Trend

Neighborhood in Denver. Photo: Osbornb/Creative Commons.

While the U.S. as a whole is experiencing a decline in homeownership, 27 of the nation’s largest metros saw the rate rise by more than 0.5 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Zillow’s analysis of 2015 American Community Survey data revealed that popular western cities such as Portland, Denver, and Seattle have seen increases in homeownership. The cities are affordable, too — at least compared to the Bay Area and Southern California.

At the city level, the homeownership rate also increased in Portland (51.4 percent to 54 percent), Denver (48.1 percent to 49.4 percent) and Seattle (45.5 percent to 46.6 percent). In all three cities the increase was driven by large jumps in the number of homeowners (3.6 percent for Portland, 4.4 percent for Denver and 4.6 percent for Seattle). In the cities of Portland and Denver, the number of renter households contracted by 6.6 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. The number of renter households edged higher by 0.1 percent in the city of Seattle.

Other cities that had a rise in ownership between 2014 and 2015 include Baton Rouge, La. (3.9 percentage point increase), Springfield, Mass. (2.4), and Fort Myers, Fla. (2.3).

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