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Housing Collapse Led to Ownership Decline in 85 Percent of U.S. Places

FRIDAY, DEC 06, 2019

The percentage of Americans living in their own homes declined in more than 85 percent of U.S. cities between 2009 and 2017, according to a Social Explorer analysis.

The analysis of 2013-17 American Community Survey data revealed that home ownership fell in 750 of the nation’s 879 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, and in all 40 of the U.S. metros with more than 500,000 households. The decline, spurred by the 2007-09 economic crisis, was evident in cities throughout the U.S. While fast-growing suburbs in Florida, Arizona, and Nevada were generally acknowledged to be at the epicenter of the housing bubble that precipitated the crisis, the Census data indicate that no part of the nation was left untouched.

Visualize and analyze the percentage of owner-occupied housing in U.S. Metro/Micro areas from the year 2009 to 2017.
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More than 6.3 million homes went into foreclosure between 2006 and 2016, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate information service based in Irvine, Calif. Although 75 percent of the nation’s largest markets have had home prices recover from peaks reached a little more than a decade ago, factors that include historically high levels of debt and housing price-to-income ratios have depressed homeownership rates over the last decade. Among the 25- to 34-year-old members of the Millennial generation, home ownership rates are 8 percent lower than for Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

A trio of micropolitan statistical areas recorded double-digit losses in the number of homeowners during the decade. Deming, N.M., reported a 10.9 percent plunge in homeownership during the decade, falling to 61.8 percent of households – about two full percentage points less than the average. Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., one of the few micro areas that’s built around a military base, and Natchitoches, La., reported a 10.1 percent decline in housing. The Fort Leonard Wood homeownership rate fell to 48.2 percent; in Natchitoches, a north-central Louisiana micro area, it fell to 50 percent.

Among major metros, Miami lost the greatest share of homeowners between 2009 and 2017. Its rate fell 6.4 percent to 59.8 percent. In Las Vegas, one of the cities considered to be Ground Zero for the housing collapse, the homeownership rate fell 6.3 percent to 52.7 percent. The percentage of homeowners in Orlando fell 6.2 percent to fall to 60.2 percent overall.

Not all places suffered declines in the percentage of homeowners. The rate in the Carbondale, Ill., micro area soared 11.9 percent to climb to 63.2 percent. It rose 10.3 percent in The Villages, Fla., an age-restricted community that’s been one of the fastest-growing places in the nation over the last two decades. Homeownership climbed 9 percent in Raymondville, Texas, home to three private prisons. The rate in the Raymondville micro area, which is about 50 miles north of the border city of Brownsville, rose to 77.8 percent.

Among metros with more than 500,000 households, Austin suffered the least. The Texas capital’s homeownership rate dipped just 1.5 percent to 58.3 percent. The rate in Pittsburgh and New York fell 1.6 percent. Pittsburgh now has a homeownership rate of 69.9 percent. The New York metro area, which boasts almost 7.2 million households through New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, and eastern Pennsylvania, reported that 51.9 percent of people lived in their own home.

Author: Frank Bass

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