Housing

College Station, Texas, Is Where Fewest People Own Their Own Home

Home ownership is at a multi-decade low in the United States at 62.9%. In several cities that figure is much lower. At the bottom of the list: only 47.7% of residents in College Station-Bryan, Texas, own a home.

In 24/7 Wall St.’s recent article, “Cities Where the Most (and Least) People Own Their Home,” our editors reported:

To identify the cities with the highest and lowest homeownership rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of housing units owned by their occupants in U.S. metropolitan statistical areas from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey. Homeownership rates by age cohort, median home values, the percentage of occupied housing units with a mortgage, median household incomes, poverty rates, and educational attainment rates for the adult population also came from the U.S. Census. Unemployment rates are preliminary as of June 2016 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional price parity, also known as the cost of living, in each metro area came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and are as of 2013, the most recent period for which these data are available.

Also:

The areas with the highest ownership rates tend to have larger shares of older residents, who are generally more likely to have accumulated the capital necessary to purchase a house. All of the 15 metro areas with the highest ownership levels have above-average shares of residents 55 and older, while the opposite is true for areas with the lowest homeownership rates.

Finally:

Among the 15 metro areas where residents are least likely to own a home, not only are homes relatively expensive, but poverty rates tend to be higher. The median home value in seven of the 15 areas is higher than the national median. The poverty rate in 12 of the 15 areas is higher than the national rate of 15.5%.

Since college students disproportionately rent rather than own their lodgings, the presence of a major college or university also drives down homeownership rates in a number of these areas.

The details on College Station:

College Station-Bryan, Texas
> Homeownership rate: 47.7%
> Median home value: $149,600
> Median household income: $42,116

The College Station-Bryan area has the lowest homeownership rate of all U.S. metro areas, at 47.7%. As is the case in a handful of other metro areas, the relatively high share of university students living in College Station, home to Texas A&M University — one of the nation’s oldest and largest university systems — likely skews the homeownership rate downward. More than one in four area residents are enrolled in a post-secondary institution.

Poor economic conditions and financial instability likely also contribute to the low home ownership. The area’s poverty rate of 26.3%, for example, is one of the highest in the country…