Homeownership offers tons of benefits to Americans. Homeownership unlocks tons of tax benefits that you are otherwise not open to as a renter, mortgage interest deduction being just one of many examples. Beyond this, homeownership has also been a hallmark of the American dream since the founding of the United States. Property taxes generated by home values contribute to public schools and the resources at their disposal for education. Not to mention, when you own your home, you can access additional sources of money, such as utilizing your home equity to secure a loan or a line of credit (HELOC). Across the U.S., rates of homeownership have fluctuated over the years, with some major cities seeing historic declines, while other, small yet still substantial cities witnessing impressive growth. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 and 2014 American Community Surveys, we crunched the numbers to identify which of America’s 500 largest cities have experienced the largest increases in homeownership and homeownership rates.
Read on to find out which cities in the U.S. have seen the biggest growths in homeownership over the last five years.
Top Cities Where Homeownership Has Increased the Most
Geographically, many of the top cities where homeownership and homeownership rates have grown the most display patterns of being located in the U.S. South, Southwest, the Mountains states, and some on the West Coast. Not surprisingly, these regions are also the ones that have been drawing migrants within the U.S. from other states. Four of the top 20 cities are located in Texas; five cities are in Florida; three are in California; and two are in Nevada. Here’s a look at the top 10 cities with the greatest increase in homeownership and homeownership rates over the last five years.
1. Conroe, Texas
Conroe experienced an impressive growth in housing units from 2014 to 2019. In 2014, there were 23,737 total housing units, of which 10,357 were owner-occupied. By 2019, total housing units had risen to 34,363, with owner-occupied housing units growing to 16,472. That’s a growth in homeownership of 59% in just five years. Meanwhile, its percentage of owner-occupied homes also grew appreciably. In 2014, less than half of occupied homes were owner-occupied, but by 2019, 53.1% of homes were owned by their tenants.
2. Enterprise, Nevada
Located nearby Las Vegas, Enterprise has witnessed strong growth in new housing units, increasing by almost 15,000 units, from 52,554 in 2014 to 67,090 in 2019. More impressive is the growth in homeownership rates, which rose by 46.6% over the last five years: From 24,138 owner-occupied homes in 2014, to 35,384 homes in 2019. This translates to a change from 56.1% of homes being owned in 2014, to nearly 61% of homes being owned by their occupiers in 2019.
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3. Sun Tan Valley, Arizona
Sun Tan Valley already had an impressive majority of its housing units that were owner-occupied, with 70.8% of homes being owner-occupied in 2014. And yet, homeownership still rose by a substantial amount. From 17,471 owner-occupied homes in 2014, Sun Tan Valley now reports 23,377 owner-occupied homes, an increase of 33.8% over the last five years. The share of housing units that are now owner-occupied stands at 78.3%, a full 7.5% higher than back in 2014.
4. Indio, California
Located some miles inland from Los Angeles, nearby the setting of the Coachella music festival, Indio has witnessed a marked growth in homeownership and homeownership rates in recent years. Owner-occupied housing units increased by 39.4% over the last five years, from 16,452 in 2014 to 22,931 homes in 2019. As a result, the homeownership rate rose from 65.1% in 2014 to a new high of 70.6% as of 2019.
5. Bonita Springs, Florida
Bonita Springs is another city that already had a high homeownership rate, standing at 74.2% back in 2014. However, homeownership still boomed over the last five years, rising from 13,929 owner-occupied homes in 2014, to 18,890 homes in 2019 — an increase of 35.6% in five years. The share of occupied housing units that are owner-occupied is now 80.6%, meaning that more than four in five households are owner-occupied.
6. Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral has become a hotspot of relocating Americans, and it shows in the growth in homeownership there. Owner-occupied homes grew by more than a fifth over the last five years, from 40,021 housing units in 2014, to 48,657 units in 2019. At the same time, the homeownership rate in Cape Coral showed marked growth, rising from 69.4% of owner-occupied homes in 2014, to 74.5% in 2019, meaning that about three-quarters of occupied homes are now owned by their tenants.
7. Sugar Land, Texas
Sugar Land has been blowing up as a city, with the number of its total housing units rising from 28,392 in 2014, to 41,046 total housing units in 2019. In line with this trend, homeownership has boomed as well. The number of owner-occupied homes rose by 46.2% in five years, from 21,880 homes in 2014, to 31,979 owner-occupied homes in 2019. Sugar Land’s homeownership rate now stands at an excellent 81.4% as of 2019.
8. Hilton Head Island
This resort city already had a solid share of its occupied homes owned by their tenants, with 72.4% of them back in 2014. However, five years later, the percentage of occupied homes owned by their tenants is now 79.1%. This is due to the fact that, in 2014, out of 16,805 occupied housing units, 12,171 were owner-occupied. By 2019, out of 17,513 occupied housing units, now 13,853 were owner-occupied, resulting in a strong swing in homeownership rates from 72.4% to 79.1%.
9. League City, Texas
Located near Galveston, League City has experienced robust growth in homeownership and homeownership rates. From 22,683 owner-occupied homes in 2014, homeownership rose by 22%, reaching 27,681 owner-occupied homes by 2019. This also caused a shift in the share of homeownership from 71.6% in 2014 to 76.2% in 2019.
10. Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Myers is a city still heavily occupied by renters; however, the levels of homeownership and homeownership rates have grown significantly in just the last five years. From 2014 to 2019, the number of owner-occupied homes rose by more than a third (33.5%), from 11,241 housing units to 15,008 housing units owned by their tenants. This growth in homeownership in Fort Myers has nudged the overall homeownership rate up to nearly half of all occupied homes, with 49.6% of them being owner-occupied, with the other 50.4% still being renter-occupied.