Housing

The America City Where Less Than Half the People Own Homes

Ownership of a home is part of the American Dream and has been for decades. Recently, a homebuying frenzy in the United States has driven up prices and cut inventory. Much of this has been at the high end of the market, where prices can run over $750,000. Despite all of this buying, the number of people who own their homes has not changed much.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s “The Housing Vacancies and Homeownership” report looks at trends in the top 75 markets based on population. The most recent information is for the second quarter of 2021.

There is a very wide range of ownership from city to city. In Fort Myers Florida, 76.1% of people own their own homes. In Los Angeles, the figure is only 48.3%.

Why? The Census Bureau offers no reason, which leaves it open to speculation. Los Angeles is the second-largest metropolitan statistical area in America, with a population of 13,109,903. Fort Myers ranks 75th, with a population of 790,767. While the population of Los Angeles grew 2.2% between 2010 and 2020, in Fort Myers it grew 27.8%. Does that matter? No one has been able to prove the cases decisively.

Anyone interested in the homeownership trend can dig deeper. The Census Bureau data includes “Homeownership rates are also tabulated by age of householder and by family status for the U.S. and regions and by race/ethnicity of householder and by median family income for the U.S.”

If you want to try to determine the reasons yourself, check out the Census Bureau report. You had better be able to use Excel and use it well.

Click here to read about the city where homeownership fell most during the pandemic.