Cities Where the Most (and Least) People Own Their Home

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Ocala, Florida tree
Source: Thinkstock

10. Ocala, FL
> Homeownership rate: 76.0%
> Median home value: $101,300
> Median household income: $39,958

The homeownership rate in Ocala, Florida is 76.0%, higher than all but nine other U.S. cities. While a high homeownership rate typically indicates widespread financial security and prosperity, Ocala residents are not especially well off. Median household income in the area is nearly $14,000 below the nationwide median and 17.4% of area residents live below the poverty line, compared to only 15.5% of Americans. Despite some negative economic conditions, the area’s homeownership rate likely remains high because of lower-than-average home values and correspondingly low monthly mortgage payments.

Sebring, Florida
Source: Thinkstock

9. Sebring, FL
> Homeownership rate: 76.3%
> Median home value: $80,800
> Median household income: $36,120

Older Americans are more likely to be financially secure and more likely to own their homes than their younger counterparts. In Sebring, residents that are at least 55 years old make up 47.1% of the population, a larger share than in all but three other U.S. metro areas. The homeownership rate of 76.3% in Sebring is due largely to the age of the population. Homeowners in the area are also among the least likely in the country to have a mortgage on their home. Only 44.0% of homeowners finance with a mortgage, considerably less than the 63.8% national figure.

Beckley, West Virginia
Source: Wikimedia Commons

8. Beckley, WV
> Homeownership rate: 76.6%
> Median home value: $93,600
> Median household income: $39,498

Beckley is an area characterized by low incomes and a low cost of living. For the 47.9% of homeowners in Beckley who finance with a mortgage, monthly housing payments are also among the lowest of any city in the country. The typical mortgage holder pays only $859 a month in Beckley, considerably less than the $1,454 the typical American pays each month. With low ownership costs, homeownership rates in Beckley are among the highest in the country.

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
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7. East Stroudsburg, PA
> Homeownership rate: 78.0%
> Median home value: $167,800
> Median household income: $63,118

Unlike the vast majority of metropolitan areas — and the nation as a whole — more than half of 15 to 34 year old heads of household in East Stroudsburg own their homes. This is unusual at the national level because accumulating the capital needed to purchase a house typically requires many years. The relative affordability of housing in the area likely explains the high ownership rate. The median household income in East Stroudsburg, $63,118, is well above the national median, while the median home value of $167,800 is lower than the typical home value nationwide.

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Bay City, Michigan
Source: Wikimedia Commons

6. Bay City, MI
> Homeownership rate: 78.5%
> Median home value: $104,600
> Median household income: $46,844

The homeownership rate in Bay City is up 6.3 percentage points from 2010 to 78.5%. Meanwhile, homeownership declined nationwide. As in most areas where owning a home is relatively common, Bay City’s population is not especially young. Just 23.9% of residents are between 15 and 34 years old, one of the lower percentages of all metro areas. Yet, of householders in that age cohort, 58.7% own their homes, the second highest such ownership rate in the nation.