26 Jaw-Dropping Home Ownership Statistics in 2020
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, home ownership statistics in the United States have shown an increase in recent quarterly data. This is true despite many reasons, such as tax laws, housing policies, and changing economic situations that make buying a home quite challenging.
Still, homeowners vs. renters statistics by the state will show you that a considerable chunk of the American population would prefer to rent a home than to buy one. Although rental prices have gone up substantially, they are still a more affordable choice.
Owning a home is a life goal for most people, so let’s look at some relevant statistics to gain a deeper understanding of this basic need.
Remarkable Home Ownership Rates (Editor’s Choice)
- From 2009 to 2019, the US home ownership rate decreased by 2.1%.
- The average age of American homeowners is 54.
- In 59% of US housing markets, renting costs less than buying a home.
- The USA home ownership rate is 67.9%.
- Only 32% of American millennial households own their homes.
- Delaware has the highest rate of home ownership by state.
- In 2020, the African-American home ownership rate is 47%.
- Romania holds the record for the highest percentage of homeowners.
The United States Home Ownership Statistics
The home ownership rate is the percentage of households that own the house they live in. It varies significantly depending on the race, ethnicity, age group, type of household, and location.
1. The US home ownership rate was 67.9% during Q2 of 2020.
(US Census Bureau)
The highest US home ownership rate recorded in 2019 was 64.8% during Q3. The rate in Q2 of 2020 was higher by 3.8% from last year’s Q2 rate and 2.6% in Q1 of 2020.
2. Home ownership decreased by 2.1% from 2009 to 2019.
The home ownership rate in the United States had been 67.2% in 2009, but it dropped to 65.1% in 2019. When we look at the rate of home ownership by year, you will see that in the past three decades, the highest recorded rate was 69.2% in 2004. It had gradually decreased and hit the lowest point of 63.7% in 2016, before starting to increase again.
3. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.04%, with an APR of 3.38%.
The average 30-year fixed 2019 mortgage rate was 3.04%, with an APR of 3.38%. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate is 3.06%, with the 4.06% APR.
4. 79% of Americans believe that home ownership is an indicator of attaining the American dream.
Although most Americans dream of owning a home, stagnant salary growth, combined with skyrocketing home prices, is really lowering the chances of increasing the number of homeowners in the US.
5. The median value of condos and single-family homes in the US is $259,906.
The value is seasonally adjusted and includes only the middle price tier of houses. In the past year, home values in the United States have increased by 5.8%, and an increase of 7.0% is expected in the next year.
6. The average age of homeowners in the US is 54.
However, since younger and older individuals tend to have different home preferences, homeowners’ average age varies among the states. For one, homeowners in Florida, a well-known location for retirement, are mainly older than those in other states.
Homeowners vs. Renters Statistics
What factors affect an average American’s decision to rent or buy a home? We know that owning a home is a good investment in the long run, but if you’re earning minimum wage, are you really able to afford it? Let’s look at these renters vs. owners statistics to find out more.
7. In 59% of US housing markets, paying rent is more affordable than buying a home.
This does not mean that rents stopped growing. In fact, they are rising faster than wages in 52% of markets. However, in 70% of markets, home prices rise faster than rental prices, which is one of the biggest roadblocks in American home ownership.
8. The difference between the average expenses of homeowners with a mortgage and the average rental price is highest in New Jersey.
In New Jersey, homeowners with a mortgage spend approximately $2,398 each month. On the other hand, the latest rental statistics show that the average rental cost across the state is $1,249. With a disparity like this, it’s no wonder that the percentage of Americans who own a home is so low.
9. 84% of renters think that renting is more affordable than owning a home.
This percentage has increased drastically since January 2016, when only 69% of renters believed renting is more affordable. This data shows that many Americans consider leasing a more viable option, as home ownership in the US is out of reach for many.
10. In Q2 2020, the median sales price for vacant residential units in the US was $205,600.
(US Census Bureau)
This Q2 2020 price was relatively lower than the 2019 average home ownership price of $220,700 and way lower than the highest median price of $230,000.
11. In Q2 2020, the average rent for vacant units in the US was $1,033.
(US Census Bureau)
This is the figure from the second quarter of 2020, and it’s highest since the 1990s. Even with this considerable amount, experts think it’s cheaper to rent a house in the US than to buy it.
Homeowner Stats and Demographics
To understand the various factors that affect home ownership, either positively or negatively, we need to look at homeowners’ structure in the US. What age group, race, and income class make up a majority of homeowners? Let’s take a peek at the following homeowner demographics to find out.
12. In 2015, only 32.2% of American millennials owned their homes.
Although millennials currently make up the majority of the population, looking at home ownership statistics by age will paint a different picture. Millennials’ home ownership rate is lower than the one of the two previous generations. Currently, 60.4% of Gen Xers (born between 1965–1980) own a home, while 75% of baby boomers (born between 1946–1964) own a house.
Job insecurity, stagnant wages, and increased housing costs are among the top challenges millennials face.
13. The home ownership rate for households earning more than or equal to the median family income is 80.5%.
(US Census Bureau)
This is expected, as families with higher incomes have a bigger capacity to buy a home. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the home ownership rate in Q2 2020 increased by 2.1% compared to last year’s Q2. Moreover, the rate increased by 4.1% since 2016. It’s also worth noting that this year’s Q2 percentage is the highest recorded in the last four years.
14. The home ownership percentage of the households earning less than the median family income is 55.2%.
(US Census Bureau)
The most recent statistics reveal that Q2 of 2020 saw the highest homeownership rate in the last four years within families earning less than the median income. It went up by 5.2% from the previous quarter.
15. 80.4% of individuals aged 65 and above own a home.
(US Census Bureau, Urban Institute)
The US housing market trends in Q2 of 2020 show that younger households have a lesser chance of owning a home than the older population. According to statistics of home ownership by age, only 40.6% of people under 35 own a home.
Factors including delayed marriage, postponed childbearing, and increased education debt are observed as the main culprits of low home ownership rates within younger generations.
16. 76% of Non-Hispanic White Americans own a home.
(US Census Bureau)
Home ownership statistics by race show that home ownership among Non-Hispanic White Americans was the highest in the US in Q2 2020. The figure is higher by 2.9% than in the same quarter of 2019. Home ownership among Non-Hispanic Whites alone has increased by 3.9% in the last four years.
17. The African American home ownership statistics show that 47% of African Americans own a house in 2020.
(US Census Bureau)
Home ownership among African Americans is the highest in the US in Q2 2020. It went up by 6.4% from Q2 of 2019 and by 5.3% in the last four years.
18. Second home ownership statistics show that 6.02% of individuals aged 30–49 own a second home.
This age group has a higher second home ownership percentage than those aged 18–29 and 50–64, whose rates are 4.68% and 4.13%, respectively.
Home Ownership Rates by State
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a survey called the American Community Survey to understand home ownership at a state level. A state’s median family income and median home value, among others, are determinants of home ownership in each state.
19. Delaware has the highest rate of home ownership by state.
(US Census Bureau)
In Q2 of 2020, 81.3% of Delaware residents owned a home, making it the state with the highest home ownership rate. Maine comes second at 79.3%, followed by West Virginia with 78.2%. In 2005, West Virginia held the spot of the state with the highest rate of home ownership.
20. Orland Park, Illinois, is the US city with the highest rate of home ownership.
The percentage of American homeowners in the city is 89.2%. Moreover, Illinois’s median family income is about $61,229, while Orland Park has a much higher household income of $85,802. In case you’re wondering why, it’s because of its proximity to Chicago, where its residents get high-paying jobs.
21. Hawaii is the state with the highest median home value of $619,000.
(Experian, Business Insider)
The high prices of houses in Hawaii are caused by the island’s appeal to vacationers, tourists, and wealthy mainland homebuyers. This increased median home value is one of the reasons there is a low percentage of homeowners in this US state. You can buy a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in Ewa Beach or a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house in Wahiawa for the average home price.
22. Maryland has the highest percentage of homeowners with a mortgage.
(24/7 Wall St)
With an average mortgage debt of $256,744, 72.9% of Maryland homeowners are still paying a monthly home mortgage. The average household income in Maryland is $80,776, putting it on the top spot. However, concerning home ownership, it’s far down the list.
23. The Midwest is the region with the highest percentage of Americans who own homes.
(US Census Bureau)
In Q2 2020, the Midwest had a 71.4% rate of home ownership, followed closely by the South region with 71.1%. The Northwest and West regions are a little behind with 63.3% and 62.6%, respectively.
It’s important to note that all the regions had higher figures than in the same quarter of the previous year.
Home Ownership Rate by Country
Now that we know how home ownership looks like in the US, let’s check out some of the global statistics and see how they relate. Perhaps there is also a lot to learn from looking into home ownership rates by the country.
24. The rate of home ownership in the UK is 65.2%.
From 2007 to 2018, there was an 8.1% decrease in home ownership in the UK. During that time frame, home ownership swayed between 63% and 73% of the population.
25. Romania has the highest percentage of homeowners in the world.
Romania’s 96% rate is primarily attributed to cheap housing, government policies, and pro-property management culture. Europe generally has the highest homeownership rates in the world — between 56% and 96%.
26. Global home ownership statistics reveal that Switzerland had the lowest percentage of homeowners in 2018.
With the latest 42.5% rate and a rate of 41.3% in 2018, Switzerland bagged the spot for the smallest percentage of homeowners globally. However, on the upside, this percentage has increased significantly from 1990 when it was 31.1%.
Home ownership is a primary box to tick to achieve the American dream, but it could also be the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. From looking at the home ownership rate by age, it is clear that millennials face an uphill battle.
The cost of buying a house is higher than ever, and mortgages can be tough to deal with. Some experts have attributed low ownership rates among millennials to the heavy burden of student loans.
The statistics above also clarify that many European countries are ahead of the US regarding home ownership.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What percentage of Americans own homes?
At the time of writing, 67.9% of American homes are owned by their inhabitants. Home ownership in the United States increased gradually from 64.1% in 1990 to 69.2% in 2004, then dropped to 63.7% in 2016, and now has been slowly rising again.
The Journal of Economic Perspectives published a paper stating that home ownership trends in the United States lag, compared to other developed countries. In 1990, home ownership in the United States ranked 10th among 18 developed countries. However, recent numbers show that it’s now just below the average rate of developed countries.
What percentage of the population owns their own home?
With a lot of factors to consider, home ownership can vary around the globe. The lowest recorded rate is 42.5% in Switzerland, while the highest is 96% in Romania.
In general, home ownership rates are affected by age, gender, race, education, marital status, family size, and family income. For example, in the United States, older individuals are more likely to own a living place than younger adults. There is also a more significant percentage of Non-Hispanic White American homeowners than any other racial group in the US.
What percentage of millennials are homeowners?
Millennials outnumber other generations regarding the population, yet they own fewer homes than the two generations that came before them. While only 32% of American millennials currently own the living spaces they occupy, the percentage of homeowners by age shows that Gen Xers have a 60.4% rate and baby boomers are now at 75%.
The skyrocketing prices of houses do not help their case. In many American cities, home prices are unreachable for millennials. For example, in Los Angeles, only 19% of houses have affordable prices for millennials that earn median salaries.
On the other hand, home ownership among Chinese millennials is at 70%, mainly due to their culture of being good savers and parents helping their sons buy a house to increase the chances of getting married.
Which country has the highest home ownership?
From 2007 to 2018, home ownership in Romania averaged 96.35%, putting the country at the top spot. Global home ownership statistics reveal that it reached the highest rate of 97.60% in 2010 and the lowest rate of 95.50% in 2007. In 2020, home ownership in Romania is 96%.
Generally, the rate of home ownership in Europe is the highest worldwide, ranging between 56% and 96%. Specifically, in Romania, the high rate is attributed to a pro-property management culture, government policies, and cheap housing.