Housing

This Is the State Where the Most People Own Homes

About 83 million people in America own homes, according to Pew Research. Viewed another way, that means that about two-thirds of households own their own homes. That is down from the long-term figure of about 70%. One of the current barriers to homeownership is price. The post-pandemic economic recovery has caused many people to move from large coastal cities, where the cost of living is high, to more “affordable” markets inland. In turn, home prices have soared in the markets, pricing out many buyers. If homeownership is part of the American dream, for many people the housing boom has made this harder to attain.

There is one historic benefit for people who want to buy homes. Mortgage rates are near all-time lows. This has helped to offset the jump in home prices.

Homeownership rates vary considerably in the U.S., and in some parts of the country, people are far more likely to own their homes than in others. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the state with the highest homeownership rates. All 50 states were ranked by their homeownership rate in 2019, the most recent year of available ACS data. Depending on the state, homeownership rates range from less than 55% to about 73%.

Homeownership rates are impacted in large part by housing costs. In states where real estate prices are higher on average, homeownership rates tend to be lower. In states with lower housing costs, on the other hand, larger shares of the population own their home.

Additionally, the states with the highest homeownership rates tend to have large rural populations and often lack major urban centers where renting tends to be more common. Meanwhile, states with lower than average homeownership rates often have major cities with thriving rental markets.

The state with the highest homeownership rate is West Virginia. Here are the details:

> Homeownership rate: 73.4%
> Median owner-occupied home value: $124,600 (the lowest)
> Housing units with a mortgage: 46.4% (the lowest)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ mortgage): $1,052 (the lowest)
> Median household income: $48,850 (2nd lowest)

Methodology: To determine the state with the highest homeownership, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed one-year data on housing from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. States were ranked based on the number of owner-occupied units as a share of all occupied housing units. Supplemental data on the median home value of owner-occupied homes, the percentage of housing units with a mortgage, median monthly housing costs for housing units with a mortgage, and median household income came from the 2019 ACS and are one-year estimates.

Click here to see which states have the highest homeownership rates.