The American housing market took off during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The homeownership rate - or the share of housing units occupied by their owner - jumped by 2.6 percentage points from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2020, by far the largest increase ever recorded. By the end of 2020, there were 2.1 million more homeowners in the United States than there were a year earlier.
The surge in home sales was fueled by several factors, including historically low mortgage rates, and, as some experts speculate, the pandemic, which led many Americans to re-evaluate where and how they live. Here is a look at the mortgage rate in America every year since 1972.
Nationwide, the homeownership rate stands at 64.4%, according to the latest American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This rate varies substantially across the country, however, and in some major metropolitan areas, the homeownership rate is well above the national average.
In the Ocean City metro area, located in New Jersey, the homeownership rate stands at 78.0%, well above the national average.
Homeownership can be expensive, but in areas with lower-than-average home values, homeownership may be more affordable for larger shares of the population. In the Ocean City metro area, where the typical home is worth $306,200, more than the national median of $229,800, the homeownership rate is high despite relatively high home prices.
All data used in this story are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2020 American Community Survey.
|Rank||Metro area||Homeownership rate (%)||Median home value ($)||Median household income ($)|
|1||The Villages, FL||88.6||267,100||59,618|
|2||Homosassa Springs, FL||83.5||144,100||45,689|
|3||Punta Gorda, FL||81.6||209,500||52,724|
|5||Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL||80.0||220,700||57,945|
|6||Barnstable Town, MA||79.6||414,000||76,863|
|7||Ocean City, NJ||78.0||306,200||72,385|
|10||East Stroudsburg, PA||77.1||173,800||68,734|
|12||Sebring-Avon Park, FL||77.0||120,500||43,708|
|14||Port St. Lucie, FL||76.6||227,800||58,039|
|16||Bay City, MI||76.1||106,400||48,290|
|17||Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC||76.0||195,700||53,832|
|19||Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL||75.6||220,000||59,359|
|20||Cedar Rapids, IA||75.3||159,800||66,620|
|21||North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL||75.1||261,100||62,438|
|26||Hilton Head Island-Bluffton, SC||74.6||295,000||67,723|
|29||Naples-Marco Island, FL||74.4||366,600||70,217|
|38||Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI||73.4||186,500||66,297|
|39||Michigan City-La Porte, IN||73.3||139,900||57,010|
|42||Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||72.7||235,300||59,608|
|45||Prescott Valley-Prescott, AZ||72.6||273,300||53,329|
|49||Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL||72.1||203,000||53,339|
|50||Portland-South Portland, ME||72.1||273,100||72,552|