Cities where most people own their homes – 24/7 Wall St.


The American housing market picked up speed in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The homeownership rate – or the proportion of homes occupied by the owner – increased by 2.6 percentage points from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2020, by far the largest increase on record. At the end of 2020, there were 2.1 million more homeowners in the United States than a year earlier.

The surge in home sales has been fueled by several factors, including historically low mortgage rates and, some experts are speculating, the pandemic, which has caused many Americans to reevaluate where and how they live. Here’s a look at mortgage rates in America every year since 1972.

According to the latest data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the homeownership rate is 64.4% nationwide. However, this rate varies significantly across the country, and some US cities have homeownership rates well above the national average.

Using census data, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 cities with the highest homeownership rates. Cities, defined as places with a population of 25,000 or more, are ranked by the proportion of dwelling units occupied by their owners.

Among the cities on this list, homeownership rates range from 87.5% to 96.3%. The cities on this list span the country, although New York State alone is home to nine, more than any other state.

Homeownership can be expensive, especially in the many cities on this list with above-average home values. However, incomes in these areas also tend to be relatively high, making home ownership more affordable for larger sections of the population. In all but two cities on this list, the median household income exceeds the national median of $64,994. Here’s a look at the 20 cities where the middle class can no longer afford housing.

Click here to see the cities where most people have their homes

To identify the cities with the highest homeownership rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the proportion of housing units occupied by their owners from the US Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. Cities were ranked according to the percentage of housing units occupied by their owners. To break the ties, we used the number of housing units occupied by their owners.

We used census “place” geographies—a category that includes incorporated legal entities and census-reported statistical units. We defined cities based on a population threshold – census sites had to have a population of at least 25,000 to be considered.

Cities were excluded when homeownership rates were not available in the 2020 ACS, when there were fewer than 1,000 housing units, or when the sampling error associated with a city’s data was deemed too high.

Sampling error was defined as too high when the coefficient of variation — a statistical assessment of the reliability of an estimate — for a city’s homeownership rate was greater than 15% and more than two standard deviations above the mean CV for all cities’ homeownership rates. Similarly, we excluded cities that had too high a sampling error for their population, using the same definition.

Additional information on median home value, median housing costs with and without a mortgage, and median household income are also five-year estimates from the 2020 ACS.


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