The American housing market took off during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The homeownership rate – or the share of housing units occupied by their owner – jumped by 2.6 percentage points from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2020, by far the largest increase ever recorded. By the end of 2020, there were 2.1 million more homeowners in the United States than there were a year earlier.
The surge in home sales was fueled by several factors, including historically low mortgage rates, and, as some experts speculate, the pandemic, which led many Americans to re-evaluate where and how they live. Here is a look at the mortgage rate in America every year since 1972.
Nationwide, the homeownership rate stands at 64.4%, according to the latest American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This rate varies substantially across the country, however, from state to state, and county to county.
Using census data, 24/7 Wall St. identified the county in every state with the highest homeownership rate. Counties and county equivalents are ranked by the share of housing units occupied by their owners.
Among the counties on this list, homeownership rates range from 69.3% to 96.5% and are anywhere from 7.6 percentage points to 39.4 percentage points higher than the corresponding state homeownership rate.
In most counties on this list, the median home value is lower than the value of the typical home across the state as a whole, making homeownership more affordable for larger shares of the population. In most of the places that do not fit this pattern, high housing costs are offset by high incomes. Most of the counties and county equivalents on this list that have higher than average home values also have a higher median household income than the state as a whole. Here is a look at the 20 cities where the middle class can no longer afford housing.
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