5 States With the Highest Home Ownership Rates

Where is home ownership the highest? Home ownership rates tended to be highest in states that are less populated and with low home prices, according to a review of recently released 2010 Census Data by 24/7 Wall St. On the other hand, states with the lowest home ownership rates tend to have more pricey homes and be in large cities.

The following are the states with the highest percentage of homes occupied by their owners.

1. West Virginia
Home ownership rate: 73.4%
Median home value: $94,500

2. Minnesota
Home ownership rate: 73%
Median home value: $200,400

3. Michigan
Home ownership rate: 72.1%
Median home value: $132,200

4. Iowa
Home ownership rate: 72.1%
Median home value: $122,000

5. Delaware
Home ownership rate: 72.1%
Median home value: $294,400

The state with the lowest home ownership rate? New York, which has a home ownership rate of 53.3 percent.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and “States With the Highest (and Lowest) Homeownership,” 247WallSt.com (Oct. 12, 2011)

Home Ownership Rate Sinks Lower

The home ownership rate is facing its biggest drop since the Great Depression, according to 2010 Census Bureau figures released this week.

The home ownership rate has fallen to 65.1 percent (or 76 million occupied housing units owned by their residents) from 66.2 percent in 2000. The 1.1 percentage point drop is the largest since the Great Depression in 1940. During that time, home ownership rate dropped 4.2 percentage points, reaching 43.6 percent.

While the home ownership rate for 2010 of 65.1 percent still remains overall high, housing experts are concerned that the percentage drop from the last census may signal a future downward trend.

Since 1940, the home ownership rate has gradually been increasing nearly every decade. During the housing boom, the home ownership rate peaked at nearly 70 percent.

But tighter credit and a bleak job picture are all causing home ownership rates to sink lower, analysts say.

Among the Census’ findings:

Unemployed young adults are the least likely to own a home.
The home ownership rate for adults aged 35-64 are at their lowest level in decades. Many middle-aged adults may have suffered from the housing crisis of 2006, facing foreclosures or bankruptcies, the Associated Press notes.
The home ownership gap between whites and blacks is growing and is at its widest gap since 1960.
West Virginia boasted a 73.4 percent home ownership rate, the highest in the country. The District of Columbia, on the other hand, had the lowest home ownership rate at 42 percent, largely due to a high number of young adults renters there.

“In the U.S., there’s still a strong cultural pull toward home ownership, because in normal times it’s always been seen as a way to build net worth and equity,” Dan McCue, research manager at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, told the Associated Press.

Source: “Housing Bust Worst Since Great Depression,” Associated Press (Oct. 6, 2011)

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Celebrating America’s History of Home Ownership

The ability to buy, sell and own property has defined our nation throughout its history, and as the U.S. prepares to celebrate its 235 birthday, Americans continue to reaffirm their support of and aspirations toward home ownership.

“For over 100 years, REALTORS® have helped bring families home,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “There’s a reason why home ownership is called the American Dream – it’s part of our collective history and an essential part of building our nation’s future, as well.”

Numerous studies have shown the value Americans place in home ownership. According to the 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, first-time buyers most often cite the desire to own a home as the primary reason for their recent home purchase. Eighty-five percent of all recent home buyers consider a home purchase a solid investment, and 76 percent of them believe owning a home is as good as or better than an investment in stocks.

Earlier this week, a New York Times/CBS News poll reported that nearly nine in 10 Americans say home ownership is an important part of the American Dream. In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, 73 percent of respondents said they believe the federal government should provide tax incentives to promote home ownership.

“Owning a home has long-standing government support in this country,” said Phipps. “Historically, lawmakers have understood the value of homeownership in fostering communities, creating social stability, and building wealth over the long term. In fact, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘A nation of home owners is unconquerable.’

“The mortgage interest deduction was introduced as part of the federal tax code nearly a century ago, and the Federal Housing Administration, Federal Home Loan Banks, and Fannie Mae were all created during the worst economic crisis our country ever faced in the Great Depression.”

Studies also demonstrate tangible social benefits to home ownership. The NAR report, Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing, showed that home owners are more active in their communities, benefit from improved education opportunities, and report higher levels of self-esteem and happiness when compared to renters. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that owners do not move as frequently as renters, providing more neighborhood stability. In turn, involvement in community quality-of-life issues helps prevent crime, improve childhood education and support neighborhood upkeep.

“As families across the country gather this weekend to celebrate our nation’s birthday, REALTORS® will continue to work to insure that this and future generations have the opportunity to pursue their dreams of owning a home,” said Phipps.

Source: NAR

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Poll: 9 in 10 Americans Value Home Ownership

While nearly one-quarter of home owners owe more on their home than it’s currently worth, Americans still see the value in home ownership and still consider it part of the American dream.

Nearly nine in 10 Americans say home ownership is an important part of the American dream, according to the latest New York Times and CBS News poll conducted June 24-28 of 979 adults.

Overall, the majority of Americans polled also said the government should do more to help improve the housing market, and they mostly blame financial institutions for the sluggish housing market.

Here are some of the findings from the poll:

? 54 percent of those polled say the government should be doing more to improve the housing market. Only 16 percent say the government should be doing less. In fact, support for helping people who are facing financial distress from housing is higher than support for helping those who have been unemployed for several months.
53 percent say the government should help in providing financial assistance to those who are having trouble paying their mortgages.

? Nearly no one surveyed was in favor of discontinuing the mortgage interest tax deduction, which government leaders have been eyeing as part of budget cuts. (Learn more.)

? 42 percent of respondents blame lenders and 29 percent blame regulators for the housing crash.

? About 66 percent of Americans say strategic default — that is, when underwater home owners stop making payments on their mortgage even though they have the means to keep paying — is not justified. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed say strategic default is justified.

Source: “Despite Fears, Owning Home Retains Allure, Poll Shows,” The New York Times (June 29, 2011)

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Americans Still Embrace Home Ownership

A new survey from the National Association of Home Builders finds that Americans continue to embrace home ownership.

The results show that 75 percent of 2,000 people polled agree home ownership is worth the risk of fluctuations in the market and that 73 percent of renters want to own someday.

With more than 70 percent saying the U.S. government should offer tax incentives to promote ownership and oppose proposals to end the mortgage interest deduction, NAHB CEO Jerry Howard says Washington should think twice about dropping policies, like the deduction, that have long supported ownership.

Source: “Save the Mortgage Interest Deduction for Homeowners,” Washington Post (06/27/11)

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American Dream of Home Ownership Still Strong

Three out of four home owners — or 78 percent — say their homes are the best investment they ever made, according to Trulia.com’s biannual American Dream survey, which has tracked attitudes toward home ownership since 2009.

Despite foreclosures and underwater homes continuing to batter the real estate market, about 70 percent of Americans say they still view home ownership as being part of their American Dream, according to the survey.

“Contrary to popular belief, the American Dream of homeownership has not turned into an American nightmare,” says Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia.

The millennial generation is expected to drive the housing recovery. Eighty-eight percent of 18-34 year old renters say they want to be home owners one day, according to the survey.

“Millennials are now today’s most serious home buyers,” says Tara-Nicholle Nelson, consumer educator for Trulia. “Unjaded and largely untouched by the effects of the housing crash, this new generation of buyers will no doubt lead America from its current housing slump towards true recovery.”

The survey also showed that in some of the country’s hardest-hit regions of foreclosures and underwater homes, buyers are not being deterred by the sour market. In particular, in Southern and Western regions of the United States, 79 percent and 70 percent of renters say they plan to purchase a home.

Source: “Trulia Survey: 70 Percent of Americans View Homeownership as Part of Personal American Dream,” Trulia.com (Feb. 9, 2011)

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More Americans Confident About Home Ownership

Americans are more confident about the stability of home prices than they were at the beginning of 2010, according to Fannie Mae’s latest national housing survey, conducted between October 2010 and December 2010.. And when it comes to home ownership, younger Americans are particularly optimistic, the survey finds.

Nearly 80 percent of all respondents, including home owners and renters, surveyed said they thought housing prices would hold steady or increase over the next 12 months–which is up from 73 percent in January 2010. In fact, survey respondents expressed more confidence over the stability of home prices than they did about the overall strength of the economy. Sixty-one percent said the economy is heading on the wrong track.

Young Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans were the most positive about their views on home ownership among the general population, according to the survey. Nearly 60 percent of Generation Y respondents (those between 18-34 years old) say that buying a home offers a lot of potential as an investment. Also, more than one-third of Hispanics and African Americans say they plan to buy a home within the next three years, compared to one in four of the general population.

“We are also seeing encouraging signs in the positive attitudes toward home ownership among younger Americans, despite the severe impact of the housing crisis on Generation Y,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “But most respondents to our survey continue to lack confidence in the strength of the economic recovery, and they are less optimistic about their ability to buy a home in the years ahead. This sense of uncertainty is weighing on the housing recovery today and reshaping expectations for housing for the future.”

Source: “Fannie Mae’s Latest National Housing Survey Shows Key Changes in Americans’ Attitudes Toward Housing and the Economy,” RISMedia (March 1, 2011)

Costs of Owning Surprises Some Buyers

A small survey of first-time home buyers found that more than half of the families were surprised at how expensive it was to own a home, even though 88 percent believed they had done a good estimate of the costs.

The study for BBVA Compass, a lender based in Alabama, concluded that most lenders don’t warn buyers that there will be costs beyond principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Among those costs are utilities. The U.S. Department of Energy reported that the typical family spends $1,900 a year – $158 per month – on things like heat, air conditioning and power.

The National Association of Home Builders calculated that the typical buyer of a new home spends about $8,640 within the first 12 months for furnishings, appliances, and home repairs and fix-ups, while the typical buyer of a resale home spends $6,540.

Source: United Feature Syndicate, Lew Sichelman (06/06/2010)

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Study: Homeownership Rate Declines

Homeownership rates are down 2 percentage points from their 2006 peak, but could fall another 5 percentage points in the next couple of years, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The study subtracts the number of home owners who are underwater from the official homeownership rate calculated quarterly by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Officially, homeownership was 67.2 percent at the end of 2009, but the report says that effectively the rate is about 62 percent if those home owners likely to lose their homes are subtracted from the total.

Cities cited as having very low effective homeownership rates include Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Tampa, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos (06/07/2010)

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How to Buy a Home in Under an Hour

The next technological trend in the real estate world will be the ability to buy property in little more than an hour, predicts Pat Lashinsky, CEO of ZipRealty.

Lashinsky foresees it working something like this:

1. A home shopper drives by a property and calls a practitioner on his cell phone.
2. The practitioner qualifies the buyer through banking contacts, then sends him an electronic key that allows him to tour the home.
3. An electronic tracking system monitors his tour while the practitioner answers questions via cell phone.
4. Closing will be managed through an electronic meeting.

Lashinsky believes the real estate industry has been slow to embrace change, but customers will demand it. “Those [practitioners] who don’t make it happen are going to fall by the wayside,” he says.

Source: Orange County Register, Jeff Collins (06/08/2010)

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