Owning a home is part of the American Dream. But housing prices have put this dream out of the reach for many people. The rise in prices has to do with low mortgage rates (which recently disappeared), the mobility that has been triggered by the work-from-home economy and low unemployment and rising wages.
Nationwide, the homeownership rate stands at 64.4%, according to the latest American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This rate varies substantially from state to state, however.
Using Census Bureau data, 24/7 Wall St. identified the state with the highest homeownership rate.
Depending on the state, homeownership rates range from 54.1% to 73.7%. Many states with the lowest homeownership rates are home to major urban centers with large rental markets, while many states with high homeownership rates have large rural populations.
Generally, in the states with the lowest homeownership rates, home values tend to be high, making homeownership prohibitively expensive for more of the population. In eight of the 10 states with the lowest homeownership rates, the median home value exceeds the $229,800 value of the typical American home.
The state with the highest homeownership rate is West Virginia. Here are the details:
- Homeownership rate: 73.7%
- Median home value: $123,200 (the lowest)
- Median monthly housing costs with mortgage: $1,058 (the lowest)
- Median monthly housing costs without mortgage: $331 (the lowest)
- Median household income: $48,037 (second lowest)
Methodology: To determine the state with the highest homeownership rate, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the share of housing units that are occupied by their owners from the 2020 ACS.
States were ranked based on the percentage of housing units that are occupied by their owners. To break ties, we used the number of housing units that are occupied by their owners.
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. Because the Census Bureau did not release one-year estimates for 2020 due to data collection issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all ACS data are five-year estimates.
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Click here to see all the states where the most people own their homes.
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