”Survey says” looks at various rankings and scorecards judging geographic locations while noting these grades are best seen as a mix of artful interpretation and data.
Buzz: The share of Californians living in their own home hit an 11-year high last year but the state’s homeownership rate is third-worst in the nation.
Source: My trusty spreadsheet analyzed state homeownership stats from the Census Bureau, looking at 2022’s average rate vs. the pre-pandemic 2010-19 average.
California’s 55.3% average homeownership rate in 2022 was the state’s best since 2011 – but only Washington, D.C., at 42% and New York at 54% were lower.
The highest ownership rates in 2022 were found in West Virginia at 79%, then Wyoming at 75%, Minnesota at 75%, Maine at 75% and Delaware at 75%.
And what of California’s economic rivals? Texas was No. 45 at 64%, while Florida was No. 31 at 67%.
The pandemic era’s low mortgage rates and increased urges for larger living spaces elevated ownership rates in many places
Look at California’s rate. It rose 0.6 percentage points vs. the pre-coronavirus 2010-19 average of 54.7%. That was the 16th-smallest rise nationally.
The biggest jump was seen in Rhode Island which rose 5.1 points to 65.9% vs. 60.8%. Then came Wyoming (up 4.3 points – 75.2% vs. 70.9%), Maryland (up 4.2 points – 71.9% vs. 67.6%), Iowa (up 3.9 points – 73.8% vs. 69.9%) and Nevada (up 3.9 points – 60.3% vs. 56.4%).
Let’s also note that 10 states saw falling homeownership.
The largest drops were in Connecticut (down 2.4 points – 64.8% vs. 67.2%), Massachusetts (down 1.6 points – 61.2% vs. 62.8%), Ohio (down 1.6 points – 66% vs. 67.6%), New Jersey (down 0.8 points – 64.2% vs. 65%) and North Carolina (down 0.7 points – 65.9% vs. 66.6%).
Texas ownership grew 0.6 points – 63.6% vs. 63%, 34th best, while Florida increased 1.2 points – 67.3% vs. 66.1%, No. 25.
Boosting homeownership is a complex issue, but in some ways, it’s simple and mostly tied to prices.
Look what we see when my spreadsheet sliced the states into thirds based on their homeownership ranking.
The 17 states with the highest ownership averaged 73.7% in 2022. That rate was up 1.9 percentage points vs. 2010-19. And the average home values in these states, using Zillow data, ran $287,400.
The 17 states with the lowest ownership averaged 61.7% last year, up 0.8 points vs. 2010-19. Homes there cost $437,500.
So, in the places where homes cost one-third less, homeownership runs one-fifth higher.
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at [email protected]
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