Special Report

The City Where the Fewest People Own Their Homes in Every State

Art Wager / E+ via Getty Images

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 city to city. 

Using census data, 24/7 Wall St. identified the city in every state with the lowest homeownership rate. Cities – defined as places with populations over 25,000 – are ranked by the share of housing units occupied by their owners. 

Among the cities on this list, homeownership rates range from 12.5% to 57.6% and are anywhere from 10 percentage points to over 50 percentage points lower than the corresponding state homeownership rate. 

Homeownership can be expensive, and in most of the cities on this list, the typical household earns less than the median household income across the state as a whole. These area’s low incomes may make homeownership less affordable for larger shares of the population. Here is a look at the 20 cities where the middle class can no longer afford housing

Many of the cities on this list are home to major colleges or universities. Because a significant share of the population in college towns reside there temporarily, the transient population are more likely to rent a home than buy one. These places include Ames, Iowa, home to Iowa State University; Blacksburg, Virginia, home to Virginia Tech; and Morgantown, West Virginia, home to WVU.

Click here to see the city with the lowest homeownership rate in each state
Click here to read our detailed methodology

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

Alabama: Birmingham
> Homeownership rate: 45.9% (Alabama: 69.2%)
> Median home value: $97,500 (Alabama: $149,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,118 (Alabama: $1,196)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $403 (Alabama: $367)
> Median household income: $38,832 (Alabama: $52,035)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 23

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Alaska: Fairbanks
> Homeownership rate: 37.8% (Alaska: 64.8%)
> Median home value: $217,700 (Alaska: $275,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,864 (Alaska: $1,937)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $617 (Alaska: $591)
> Median household income: $64,397 (Alaska: $77,790)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 3

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Arizona: Tempe
> Homeownership rate: 40.3% (Arizona: 65.3%)
> Median home value: $287,600 (Arizona: $242,000)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,497 (Arizona: $1,464)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $488 (Arizona: $430)
> Median household income: $61,290 (Arizona: $61,529)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 39

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Arkansas: Fayetteville
> Homeownership rate: 37.9% (Arkansas: 65.8%)
> Median home value: $232,100 (Arkansas: $133,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,495 (Arkansas: $1,103)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $453 (Arkansas: $353)
> Median household income: $47,350 (Arkansas: $49,475)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 19

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California: West Hollywood
> Homeownership rate: 19.8% (California: 55.3%)
> Median home value: $743,700 (California: $538,500)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $3,179 (California: $2,422)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $962 (California: $618)
> Median household income: $71,692 (California: $78,672)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 302

Colorado: Englewood
> Homeownership rate: 48.1% (Colorado: 66.2%)
> Median home value: $379,300 (Colorado: $369,900)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,726 (Colorado: $1,808)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $453 (Colorado: $488)
> Median household income: $66,399 (Colorado: $75,231)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 33

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Connecticut: Hartford
> Homeownership rate: 24.9% (Connecticut: 66.1%)
> Median home value: $170,200 (Connecticut: $279,700)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,616 (Connecticut: $2,127)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $758 (Connecticut: $900)
> Median household income: $36,154 (Connecticut: $79,855)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 24

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Delaware: Wilmington
> Homeownership rate: 43.8% (Delaware: 71.4%)
> Median home value: $173,500 (Delaware: $258,300)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,397 (Delaware: $1,591)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $473 (Delaware: $475)
> Median household income: $45,139 (Delaware: $69,110)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 3

Florida: University (Hillsborough County)
> Homeownership rate: 12.5% (Florida: 66.2%)
> Median home value: $91,900 (Florida: $232,000)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,123 (Florida: $1,539)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $339 (Florida: $513)
> Median household income: $29,380 (Florida: $57,703)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 158

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Georgia: Statesboro
> Homeownership rate: 24.6% (Georgia: 64.0%)
> Median home value: $115,100 (Georgia: $190,200)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $985 (Georgia: $1,449)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $358 (Georgia: $435)
> Median household income: $32,790 (Georgia: $61,224)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 45

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Hawaii: Urban Honolulu
> Homeownership rate: 46.3% (Hawaii: 60.3%)
> Median home value: $707,400 (Hawaii: $636,400)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $2,592 (Hawaii: $2,443)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $688 (Hawaii: $540)
> Median household income: $72,454 (Hawaii: $83,173)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 10

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Idaho: Rexburg
> Homeownership rate: 29.9% (Idaho: 70.8%)
> Median home value: $221,700 (Idaho: $235,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,291 (Idaho: $1,312)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $398 (Idaho: $388)
> Median household income: $33,278 (Idaho: $58,915)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 13

Illinois: Carbondale
> Homeownership rate: 28.7% (Illinois: 66.3%)
> Median home value: $122,700 (Illinois: $202,100)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,257 (Illinois: $1,709)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $541 (Illinois: $650)
> Median household income: $24,093 (Illinois: $68,428)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 91

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Indiana: West Lafayette
> Homeownership rate: 34.6% (Indiana: 69.5%)
> Median home value: $235,300 (Indiana: $148,900)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,480 (Indiana: $1,155)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $508 (Indiana: $416)
> Median household income: $31,460 (Indiana: $58,235)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 40

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Iowa: Ames
> Homeownership rate: 41.2% (Iowa: 71.2%)
> Median home value: $213,500 (Iowa: $153,900)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,459 (Iowa: $1,279)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $582 (Iowa: $495)
> Median household income: $50,783 (Iowa: $61,836)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 18

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Kansas: Manhattan
> Homeownership rate: 39.7% (Kansas: 66.2%)
> Median home value: $213,200 (Kansas: $157,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,605 (Kansas: $1,400)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $619 (Kansas: $517)
> Median household income: $50,957 (Kansas: $61,091)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 15

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Kentucky: Richmond
> Homeownership rate: 38.5% (Kentucky: 67.6%)
> Median home value: $148,900 (Kentucky: $147,100)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,109 (Kentucky: $1,191)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $444 (Kentucky: $379)
> Median household income: $39,329 (Kentucky: $52,238)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 15

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Louisiana: Monroe
> Homeownership rate: 42.6% (Louisiana: 66.6%)
> Median home value: $150,000 (Louisiana: $168,100)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,203 (Louisiana: $1,310)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $349 (Louisiana: $344)
> Median household income: $31,926 (Louisiana: $50,800)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 18

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Maine: Portland
> Homeownership rate: 45.2% (Maine: 72.9%)
> Median home value: $302,700 (Maine: $198,000)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,830 (Maine: $1,404)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $757 (Maine: $500)
> Median household income: $61,695 (Maine: $59,489)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 4

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Maryland: Salisbury
> Homeownership rate: 27.5% (Maryland: 67.1%)
> Median home value: $167,800 (Maryland: $325,400)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,341 (Maryland: $2,038)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $558 (Maryland: $633)
> Median household income: $44,474 (Maryland: $87,063)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 54

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Massachusetts: Chelsea
> Homeownership rate: 26.9% (Massachusetts: 62.5%)
> Median home value: $369,900 (Massachusetts: $398,800)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $2,229 (Massachusetts: $2,268)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $687 (Massachusetts: $829)
> Median household income: $60,370 (Massachusetts: $84,385)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 64

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Michigan: East Lansing
> Homeownership rate: 39.5% (Michigan: 71.7%)
> Median home value: $194,100 (Michigan: $162,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,603 (Michigan: $1,312)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $751 (Michigan: $495)
> Median household income: $40,800 (Michigan: $59,234)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 45

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Minnesota: Minneapolis
> Homeownership rate: 47.4% (Minnesota: 71.9%)
> Median home value: $268,100 (Minnesota: $235,700)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,732 (Minnesota: $1,606)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $651 (Minnesota: $548)
> Median household income: $66,068 (Minnesota: $73,382)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 42

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Mississippi: Hattiesburg
> Homeownership rate: 38.1% (Mississippi: 68.8%)
> Median home value: $110,500 (Mississippi: $125,500)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,073 (Mississippi: $1,161)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $385 (Mississippi: $358)
> Median household income: $36,111 (Mississippi: $46,511)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 14

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Missouri: Springfield
> Homeownership rate: 42.4% (Missouri: 67.1%)
> Median home value: $122,200 (Missouri: $163,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $981 (Missouri: $1,287)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $361 (Missouri: $449)
> Median household income: $37,491 (Missouri: $57,290)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 28

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

Montana: Bozeman
> Homeownership rate: 42.6% (Montana: 68.5%)
> Median home value: $412,500 (Montana: $244,900)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,789 (Montana: $1,456)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $554 (Montana: $451)
> Median household income: $59,695 (Montana: $56,539)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 6

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Nebraska: Fremont
> Homeownership rate: 55.8% (Nebraska: 66.2%)
> Median home value: $140,400 (Nebraska: $164,000)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,210 (Nebraska: $1,412)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $513 (Nebraska: $539)
> Median household income: $54,291 (Nebraska: $63,015)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 6

Nevada: Winchester
> Homeownership rate: 29.7% (Nevada: 57.1%)
> Median home value: $172,300 (Nevada: $290,200)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,195 (Nevada: $1,574)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $348 (Nevada: $433)
> Median household income: $39,368 (Nevada: $62,043)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 14

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New Hampshire: Manchester
> Homeownership rate: 45.0% (New Hampshire: 71.2%)
> Median home value: $241,600 (New Hampshire: $272,300)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,788 (New Hampshire: $1,967)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $762 (New Hampshire: $812)
> Median household income: $62,087 (New Hampshire: $77,923)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 5

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New Jersey: New Brunswick
> Homeownership rate: 19.5% (New Jersey: 64.0%)
> Median home value: $267,200 (New Jersey: $343,500)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,845 (New Jersey: $2,476)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $934 (New Jersey: $1,062)
> Median household income: $43,930 (New Jersey: $85,245)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 39

New Mexico: Clovis
> Homeownership rate: 54.8% (New Mexico: 68.0%)
> Median home value: $132,300 (New Mexico: $175,700)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,144 (New Mexico: $1,293)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $339 (New Mexico: $360)
> Median household income: $47,794 (New Mexico: $51,243)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 11

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New York: Ithaca
> Homeownership rate: 25.1% (New York: 54.1%)
> Median home value: $261,900 (New York: $325,000)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,919 (New York: $2,174)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $835 (New York: $781)
> Median household income: $38,019 (New York: $71,117)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 63

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North Carolina: Jacksonville
> Homeownership rate: 33.0% (North Carolina: 65.7%)
> Median home value: $157,000 (North Carolina: $182,100)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,264 (North Carolina: $1,328)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $473 (North Carolina: $402)
> Median household income: $45,754 (North Carolina: $56,642)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 40

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North Dakota: Grand Forks
> Homeownership rate: 43.9% (North Dakota: 62.5%)
> Median home value: $209,800 (North Dakota: $199,900)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,495 (North Dakota: $1,457)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $515 (North Dakota: $476)
> Median household income: $50,194 (North Dakota: $65,315)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 6

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Ohio: Bowling Green
> Homeownership rate: 36.6% (Ohio: 66.3%)
> Median home value: $171,800 (Ohio: $151,400)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,377 (Ohio: $1,286)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $483 (Ohio: $480)
> Median household income: $39,210 (Ohio: $58,116)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 61

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Oklahoma: Stillwater
> Homeownership rate: 39.2% (Oklahoma: 66.1%)
> Median home value: $185,300 (Oklahoma: $142,400)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,474 (Oklahoma: $1,246)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $506 (Oklahoma: $406)
> Median household income: $34,906 (Oklahoma: $53,840)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 16

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Oregon: Corvallis
> Homeownership rate: 42.6% (Oregon: 62.8%)
> Median home value: $361,800 (Oregon: $336,700)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,764 (Oregon: $1,741)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $645 (Oregon: $553)
> Median household income: $55,390 (Oregon: $65,667)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 23

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Pennsylvania: State College
> Homeownership rate: 26.9% (Pennsylvania: 69.0%)
> Median home value: $332,100 (Pennsylvania: $187,500)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $2,020 (Pennsylvania: $1,505)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $626 (Pennsylvania: $542)
> Median household income: $38,076 (Pennsylvania: $63,627)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 23

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Rhode Island: Woonsocket
> Homeownership rate: 37.2% (Rhode Island: 61.6%)
> Median home value: $191,500 (Rhode Island: $276,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,668 (Rhode Island: $1,879)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $707 (Rhode Island: $745)
> Median household income: $44,310 (Rhode Island: $70,305)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 6

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South Carolina: Greenville
> Homeownership rate: 43.1% (South Carolina: 70.1%)
> Median home value: $332,700 (South Carolina: $170,100)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,667 (South Carolina: $1,265)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $503 (South Carolina: $377)
> Median household income: $58,259 (South Carolina: $54,864)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 19

South Dakota: Aberdeen
> Homeownership rate: 57.6% (South Dakota: 68.0%)
> Median home value: $169,400 (South Dakota: $174,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,311 (South Dakota: $1,367)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $501 (South Dakota: $495)
> Median household income: $56,455 (South Dakota: $59,896)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 3

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Tennessee: Cookeville
> Homeownership rate: 41.8% (Tennessee: 66.5%)
> Median home value: $170,300 (Tennessee: $177,600)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,233 (Tennessee: $1,272)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $398 (Tennessee: $389)
> Median household income: $40,836 (Tennessee: $54,833)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 28

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Texas: San Marcos
> Homeownership rate: 29.1% (Texas: 62.3%)
> Median home value: $185,300 (Texas: $187,200)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,530 (Texas: $1,654)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $537 (Texas: $526)
> Median household income: $42,030 (Texas: $63,826)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 127

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Utah: Logan
> Homeownership rate: 38.6% (Utah: 70.5%)
> Median home value: $216,200 (Utah: $305,400)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,237 (Utah: $1,597)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $414 (Utah: $437)
> Median household income: $43,056 (Utah: $74,197)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 38

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Vermont: Burlington
> Homeownership rate: 37.6% (Vermont: 71.3%)
> Median home value: $312,200 (Vermont: $230,900)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,946 (Vermont: $1,630)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $838 (Vermont: $686)
> Median household income: $55,461 (Vermont: $63,477)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 1

*Because Burlington is the only eligible city in Vermont, it is the city with the lowest homeownership rate by default.

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Virginia: Blacksburg
> Homeownership rate: 33.7% (Virginia: 66.7%)
> Median home value: $309,800 (Virginia: $282,800)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,848 (Virginia: $1,822)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $565 (Virginia: $481)
> Median household income: $41,711 (Virginia: $76,398)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 43

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Washington: Pullman
> Homeownership rate: 28.6% (Washington: 63.3%)
> Median home value: $287,700 (Washington: $366,800)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,858 (Washington: $1,939)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $561 (Washington: $605)
> Median household income: $32,073 (Washington: $77,006)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 47

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West Virginia: Morgantown
> Homeownership rate: 44.4% (West Virginia: 73.7%)
> Median home value: $215,000 (West Virginia: $123,200)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,240 (West Virginia: $1,058)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $390 (West Virginia: $331)
> Median household income: $42,474 (West Virginia: $48,037)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 5

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Wisconsin: Milwaukee
> Homeownership rate: 40.7% (Wisconsin: 67.1%)
> Median home value: $128,300 (Wisconsin: $189,200)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,302 (Wisconsin: $1,436)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $556 (Wisconsin: $556)
> Median household income: $43,125 (Wisconsin: $63,293)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 34

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Wyoming: Laramie
> Homeownership rate: 47.1% (Wyoming: 71.0%)
> Median home value: $225,400 (Wyoming: $228,000)
> Median monthly housing costs (w/ a mortgage): $1,524 (Wyoming: $1,474)
> Median monthly housing costs (no mortgage): $449 (Wyoming: $429)
> Median household income: $47,463 (Wyoming: $65,304)
> No. of cities considered in ranking: 4

Methodology

To determine the city with the lowest homeownership rate in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the share of housing units that are occupied by their owners from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

Cities were ranked based on the percentage of housing units that are occupied by their owners. To break ties, we used the number of housing units that are occupied by their owners.

We used census “place” geographies — a category that includes incorporated legal entities and census-designated statistical entities. We defined cities based on a population threshold — census places needed to have a population of at least 25,000 to be considered. 

Cities were excluded if homeownership rates were not available in the 2020 ACS, if there were fewer than 1,000 housing units, or if the sampling error associated with a city’s data was deemed too high.

The sampling error was defined as too high if the coefficient of variation — a statistical assessment of how reliable an estimate is — for a city’s homeownership rate was above 15% and greater than two standard deviations above the mean CV for all cities’ homeownership rates. We similarly excluded cities that had a sampling error too high for their population, using the same definition.

Additional information on median home value, median housing costs with and without a mortgage, and median household income are also five-year estimates from the 2020 ACS.

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