Economists' Outlook

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Homeownership Rate Trends in 2009-2017: Improving, but Wide Racial Disparities Exist

Homeownership rates have modestly increased for the last few years. This post will look at the states that are seeing increases in home ownership, as well as look at homeownership rates among Black and African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Whites and Caucasians by state. The visualizations provide a detailed look into each state and the homeownership rates for them.

Homeownership rates took a hit after the housing bubble, but leveled off around 2014. Gradually, rates have increased over the last few years.

Graph: National Homeownership Rate, 2009-2017

Maine leads all states with the highest home ownership rate at 74%. Delaware, Iowa, Minnesota, and West Virginia all have homeownership rates of 72%.

Graph: States with Highest Homeownership Rates in 2017

Of the states with the lowest homeownership rate, Hawaii leads at 58%. Nevada follows with 57% and the District of Columbia had the lowest level at 42%.

Graph: States with Lowest Homeownership Rates in 2017

Homeownership rates are highest among Whites. Their homeownership rate has not fallen below 68%. In fact, from 2009 to 2017 homeownership rates among Whites only fell 1%. In 2017, Whites have the highest homeownership rates in these states ranging from 76–78%: Delaware, Mississippi, Michigan, Minnesota and Maryland. Their homeownership rates are lower in these states, ranging from 52–64%: New York, Nevada, California, Hawaii and the District of Columbia being the lowest at 52%. 

Graph: White Homeownership Rates, 2009-2017

Homeownership for Asians and Pacific Islanders was relatively flat between 2009 and 2017. The biggest drop was 2% and was up as of 2017 compared to previous years. Asians have the highest homeownership rates in these states: Hawaii, Maryland, Florida, Virginia and Louisiana. They have a lower rate in these states: Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Vermont, District of Columbia and South Dakota being the lowest at 24%.

Graph: Asian and Pacific Islander Homeownership Rates, 2009-2017

Homeownership rates for Blacks and African Americans are the lowest among all races. Their homeownership rates over this period have not risen above 45%. Since the housing bubble, their ownership rates have not recovered and are not even up 1% from 2016 to 2017. Home ownership rates are the highest in these states: Vermont lead all states with 56%, Mississippi, South Carolina, Delaware and Maryland were all 51%. States with the lowest African American home homeownership rates are Wisconsin with 26%, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota with the lowest rate of all states at 5%.

Graph: Black and African American Homeownership Rates, 2009-2017

Homeownership rates for American Indians has been flat between 2009–2017. Their rates have not fallen below 53%. From 2016–2017 they experienced a 3% gain. Looking at the home ownership by state shows that the higher homeownership rates are in West Virginia at 77%, Delaware, Idaho, Virginia and North Carolina with 68%. American Indians had lower homeownership levels in Iowa, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Hawaii and the District of Columbia at 16%

Graph: American Indian Homeownership Rates, 2009-2017

Developing programs and incentives to help improve home ownership rates where there is a deficit is a necessity. Here are a few resources to find out more information on NAR and Fair Housing, The Fair Housing Act, and Code of Ethics training. From opportunity zones to local policies, there is optimism to improve and balance out homeownership rates for all people. With more inventory, lower mortgage rates, and prices keeping pace with incomes, affordability challenges should weaken and continue to support healthy homeownership rates on a national level; more effort on a local level will promote change and improvement.

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