U.S. Homeownership Rate Hits 20-Year Low

By Terence P. Jeffrey | February 24, 2015 | 10:50 AM EST

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The homeownership rate in the United States dropped to a 20-year low of 64.5 percent in 2014, according to new data released by the Census Bureau.

The homeownership rate is the percentage of households that own the home in which they live. “It is computed,” says the Census Bureau, “by dividing the number of households that are owners by the total number of occupied households."

The last time the annual homeownership rate was lower than 64.5 percent was in 1994, when it was 64.0%, according to Table 15 in the Census Bureau’s “Housing Vacancies and Homeownership” data.

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In the years since 1984, which is the first year reported on Table 15, homeownership peaked at 69.0 percent in 2004. In the last decade, according to the Census Bureau, the annual homeownership rate has steadily declined.

Among the 50 states, New York’s 2014 homeownership rate of 52.9 percent was the lowest in the nation. California was second lowest with 54.2 percent. Nevada was third lowest with 56.0 percent. Hawaii was fourth lowest with 58.4 percent. Rhode Island was fifth lowest with 61.8 percent.

The District of Columbia—with a homeownership rate of 41.5 percent—was lower than any state.

West Virginia—at 75.6 percent—had the highest homeownership rate in 2014. Delaware had the second highest with 74.3 percent. Michigan had the third highest with 73.8 percent. Vermont had the fourth highest with 73.5 percent. And Mississippi had the fifth highest with 73.2 percent.

Among the 75 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the nation, as reported in Table 16 in the Census Bureau’s “Housing Vacancies and Homeownership” data, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area had the lowest homeownership rate in 2014. At 49.0 percent, it was the only one of the top 75 metropolitan statistical areas that had a homeownership rate of less than 50 percent.

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island had the second lowest homeownership rate at 50.7 percent. Bakersfield was third lowest with 52.8 percent. Las Vegas-Paradise as fourth lowest with 53.2 percent. Fresno was fifth lowest with 53.9 percent.

San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont was sixth lowest with 54.6 percent.

The Richmond, Va., metropolitan area had the highest homeownership rate at 72.6 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., was second highest with 71.9 percent. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich., was third highest with 71.6 percent. Detroit-Warren-Livonia was fourth highest with 71.2 percent. And St. Louis, Mo., was fifth highest with 71.1 percent.

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