Real Estate News

California homeownership rate jumps after years of decline

The number of owner-occupied homes in California rose by 182,000, or 2.6 percent, from 2016 to 2017, the largest increase in at least 12 years, new Census Bureau estimates show.

About 54.8 percent of households in California owned their homes in 2017. The homeownership rate in California fell for a decade between 2006 and 2015, largely as a result of the housing bust and foreclosure crisis, before mostly flattening around 2014 and rising in 2017, according to the data.

While home prices rose throughout 2017, so did incomes, census estimates show. In addition, mortgage rates remained low by historic standards.

The homeownership rate in the four-county Sacramento region rose from about 59 percent in 2016 to 60 percent in 2017. The nationwide rate went from about 63.1 percent in 2016 to 63.9 percent in 2017.

Homeownership rates vary widely from county to county. Among counties with more than 65,000 residents, El Dorado, Nevada, Lake and Placer counties boast the highest homeownership rates in the state. In each county, more than 70 percent of households owned their homes in 2017. The lowest homeownership rate was — by far — in San Francisco County, followed at a distance by Los Angeles and Merced counties. Most households in those counties did not own their homes in 2017, census estimates show.

Phillip Reese is a data specialist at The Bee and teaches at Sacramento State: 916-321-1137.
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