Housing

This Is the State Where the Most People Own Their Homes

Homeownership is an American dream. For most people who own a home, it will be the largest purchase of their lives. These homes are likely to increase in value, pushing up the net worths of millions of people in the United States. However, the rate of homeownership in the country is less than many people would expect.

According to Realtor.com George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research:

The homeownership rate reached 65.4% in the third quarter of 2021, unchanged from the second quarter, but 2.0% lower than the same quarter in 2020. The Midwest region retained the highest level, at 70.9%, followed by the South (67.0%), highlighting the importance that affordability plays in homeownership across the country.


The most recent government data on homeownership is the Census Housing Vacancies and Homeownership (CPS/HVS), which is released every quarter. It covers rental vacancies, homeownership rates by state and homeowner vacancies from 2005. It also covers home trends in the 75 largest metro areas in America.

Ironically, the lowest homeownership rates are in the richest states based on household income. The rate in Massachusetts is 61.4%. In Washington, the figure is 62.5%. It is 61.1% in New Jersey. While there is no reason given for this trend, it may be that these states also have high median home prices. Massachusetts ranks third highest, based on a median home price at $381,600. Washington ranks fifth at $339,000, and New Jersey ranks sixth at $335,600.

Poorer states have higher homeownership. The state with the highest rate of homeownership in West Virginia at 78.6% in the third quarter. It ranks lowest in median home price at $107,927. The homeownership rate in Mississippi is 74.2%, and the median home price there is the second lowest at $127,206.

As is the case with national homeownership rates, there is little change from quarter to quarter among state rates. West Virginia likely will hold its place.

Click here to see which are the most expensive cities in which to buy a house.