Homeownership Rates

The nation is in the midst of a home-buying boom, pushing homeownership rates across the country to record highs. After a small decline in the mid- to late-1980s, the percentage of U.S. households who own a home rose to an unprecedented 65.7 percent last year. Massachusetts has seen the same trend. Between 1990 and 1997, the state’s homeownership rate jumped from 58.6 percent to 62.3 percent. The bad news? Almost every other state is doing better on this measure of the attainability of the American Dream. Massachusetts ranked 43rd in homeownership last year–ahead only of Texas, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, California, New York, and Hawaii. Certainly the state’s high housing prices are a prime culprit. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sale price for an existing single-family home in Massachusetts last year was $186,800–the second highest in the country, after Hawaii (and more than twice as high as the median sale price of 18 other states). And it’s climbing as we speak. By the year 2000, the Realtors group predicts, it will be $213,300.

 

Homeownership 1990
Rank State Rate
1. Maine 74.2%
2. Pennsylvania 73.8%
3. Vermont 72.6%
4. Michigan 72.3%
5. West Virginia 72.0%
6. S. Carolina 71.4%
7. Iowa 70.7%
8. Oklahoma 70.3%
9. Utah 70.1%
10. Virginia 69.8%
11. Idaho 69.4%
12. Mississippi 69.4%
13. Montana 69.1%
14. Kansas 69.0%
15. N. Carolina 69.0%
16. Wyoming 68.9%
17. Ohio 68.7%
18. New Mexico 68.6%
19. Alabama 68.4%
20. Tennessee 68.3%
21. Wisconsin 68.3%
22. Minnesota 68.0%
23. Connecticut 67.9%
24. Arkansas 67.8%
25. Louisiana 67.8%
26. Delaware 67.7%
27. Nebraska 67.3%
28. North Dakota 67.2%
29. Indiana 67.0%
30. South Dakota 66.2%
31. Kentucky 65.8%
32. Florida 65.1%
33. New Hampshire 65.0%
34. New Jersey 65.0%
35. Maryland 64.9%
36. Arizona 64.5%
37. Oregon 64.4%
38. Georgia 64.3%
39. Missouri 64.0%
40. Illinois 63.0%
41. Washington 61.8%
42. Texas 59.7%
43. Colorado 59.0%
44. Massachusetts 58.6%
45. Rhode Island 58.5%
46. Alaska 58.4%
47. Nevada 55.8%
48. Hawaii 55.5%
49. California 53.8%
50. New York 53.3%
U.S. Average 63.9%
Homeownership 1997
Rank State Rate
1. Minnesota 75.4%
2. Kentucky 75.0%
3. Maine 74.9%
4. West Virginia 74.6%
5. Indiana 74.1%
6. S. Carolina 74.1%
7. Mississippi 73.7%
8. Michigan 73.3%
9. Pennsylvania 73.3%
10. Iowa 72.7%
11. Utah 72.5%
12. Idaho 72.3%
13. Alabama 71.3%
14. Georgia 70.9%
15. Maryland 70.5%
16. Missouri 70.5%
17. N. Carolina 70.2%
18. Tennessee 70.2%
19. New Mexico 69.6%
20. Delaware 69.2%
21. Vermont 69.1%
22. Ohio 69.0%
23. Oklahoma 68.5%
24. Virginia 68.4%
25. Wisconsin 68.3%
26. Connecticut 68.1%
27. Illinois 68.1%
28. North Dakota 68.1%
29. South Dakota 67.6%
30. Wyoming 67.6%
31. Montana 67.5%
32. Alaska 67.2%
33. Florida 66.9%
34. New Hampshire 66.8%
35. Arkansas 66.7%
36. Nebraska 66.7%
37. Kansas 66.5%
38. Louisiana 66.4%
39. Colorado 64.1%
40. New Jersey 63.1%
41. Arizona 63.0%
42. Washington 62.9%
43. Massachusetts 62.3%
44. Texas 61.5%
45. Nevada 61.2%
46. Oregon 61.0%
47. Rhode Island 58.7%
48. California 55.7%
49. New York 52.6%
50. Hawaii 50.2%
U.S. Average 65.7%
Median sale price 1997
Rank State Price
1. Hawaii $290,000
2. Massachusetts $186,800
3. California $186,100
4. New Jersey $171,400
5. Delaware $148,700
6. New Hampshire $148,500
7. New York $143,700
8. Connecticut $138,500
9. Washington $136,800
10. Illinois $135,900
11. Colorado $135,200
12. Oregon $134,600
13. Nevada $131,900
14. Alaska $129,900
15. Utah $122,900
16. Maryland $121,500
17. Vermont $120,300
18. Rhode Island $119,600
19. N. Carolina $117,400
20. Virginia $114,200
21. New Mexico $110,100
22. Pennsylvania $107,100
23. Arizona $106,100
24. Minnesota $104,800
25. Wisconsin $104,500
26. Michigan $103,100
27. Florida $102,800
28. Ohio $100,900
29. S. Carolina $99,800
30. Tennessee $97,900
31. Alabama $ 97,000
32. Georgia $ 96,500
33. Montana $ 91,600
34. Indiana $ 90,100
35. Maine $ 88,500
36. Missouri $ 88,100
37. North Dakota $87,900
38. Texas $ 87,900
39. Louisiana $ 85,900
40. Wyoming $ 85,900
41. Idaho $ 85,500
42. Nebraska $ 84,900
43. Kansas $ 83,500
44. Iowa $ 83,300
45. South Dakota $80,600
46. Kentucky $ 80,200
47. West Virginia $78,000
48. Arkansas $ 77,200
49. Mississippi $73,200
50. Oklahoma $ 72,800
U.S. average $113,392

Sources: Homeownership rates from U.S. Census Bureau. Median sale prices from Regional Financial Associates, Inc., which estimates figures for the National Association of Realtors. U.S. average calculated by CommonWealth.