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.

 

RankMetro areaHomeownership rate (%)Median home value ($)Median household income ($)
1The Villages, FL88.6267,10059,618
2Homosassa Springs, FL83.5144,10045,689
3Punta Gorda, FL81.6209,50052,724
4Monroe, MI80.6167,40065,453
5Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL80.0220,70057,945
6Barnstable Town, MA79.6414,00076,863
7Ocean City, NJ78.0306,20072,385
8Gettysburg, PA77.8212,30068,411
9Midland, MI77.3145,90064,078
10East Stroudsburg, PA77.1173,80068,734
11Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL77.0211,60061,756
12Sebring-Avon Park, FL77.0120,50043,708
13Ogden-Clearfield, UT76.6284,50078,680
14Port St. Lucie, FL76.6227,80058,039
15Muskegon, MI76.2126,40053,478
16Bay City, MI76.1106,40048,290
17Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC76.0195,70053,832
18Beckley, WV75.7104,10043,444
19Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL75.6220,00059,359
20Cedar Rapids, IA75.3159,80066,620
21North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL75.1261,10062,438
22Rochester, MN75.0218,50076,787
23Ocala, FL74.8151,70046,587
24York-Hanover, PA74.8183,30068,940
25Johnstown, PA74.794,90047,644
26Hilton Head Island-Bluffton, SC74.6295,00067,723
27Greeley, CO74.5326,10074,332
28Wheeling, WV-OH74.5115,20049,928
29Naples-Marco Island, FL74.4366,60070,217
30Jackson, MI74.3138,90054,511
31Salisbury, MD-DE74.3243,90062,799
32Houma-Thibodaux, LA73.9157,00053,267
33Decatur, AL73.5137,60051,842
34Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA73.5140,80046,685
35Appleton, WI73.4180,30070,261
36Dubuque, IA73.4175,30064,493
37Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC73.4139,10049,706
38Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI73.4186,50066,297
39Michigan City-La Porte, IN73.3139,90057,010
40Gadsden, AL73.0124,40044,934
41Parkersburg-Vienna, WV72.8123,80048,369
42Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL72.7235,30059,608
43Lewiston, ID-WA72.7207,20055,657
44Cheyenne, WY72.6239,90069,369
45Prescott Valley-Prescott, AZ72.6273,30053,329
46Charleston, WV72.5110,10046,099
47Duluth, MN-WI72.3162,70058,729
48Wausau-Weston, WI72.3158,20062,237
49Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL72.1203,00053,339
50Portland-South Portland, ME72.1273,10072,552