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 lowest homeownership rate. Counties and county equivalents – which can include independent cities – are ranked by the share of housing units occupied by their owners.
Among the counties on this list, homeownership rates range from 20.1% to 67.9% and are anywhere from 2.3 percentage points to 39.7 percentage points lower than the corresponding state homeownership rate.
Homeownership can be expensive, and in most of the counties and county equivalents 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 places on this list are in or around major urban areas where large shares of the population rent, like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Others are home to large 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 counties include New Haven County, Connecticut, home to Yale University and Chittenden County, Vermont, Home to the University of Vermont.
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