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November 9, 2019

California's Homeownership Rate Hits 9-Year High

New Census data shows 56.3% of households statewide lived in a residence they owned in the third quarter.

And while that’s sixth-lowest among the states, it is the highest California ownership level since 2010.

A year ago, 55.2% of Californians were homeowners, ranking No. 49 nationally. Californians have struggled to own their homes since the Great Recession.

Between 2005 and 2009, California ownership averaged 58.5% in an era that saw aggressive lending.

Since then, as lenders made it harder to get a mortgage and home “affordability” worsened, ownership has averaged 54.7% in the state.

But the past year’s dramatic reversal in mortgage rates, continued strong job growth statewide and moderating price home-price appreciation seems to have put more Californians into their own homes.

For example, homeownership in the Inland Empire hit an 11-year high.

In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 67.7% of households lived in a residence they owned in the third quarter, ranking No. 23 among the 75 largest metro areas, according to the Census Bureau.

A year earlier, the I.E. had 64.7% ownership, ranking No. 34 nationally.

In the 2005-09 easy money days, I.E. ownership averaged 67% but ownership has since averaged 54.7%.

Not all of the homeownership news was upbeat as Los Angeles and Orange counties remain below 50% for the sixth consecutive quarter.

In the third quarter, 48.2% of L.A.- O.C. households lived in a residence they owned, next-to-last among the 75 largest metro areas.

A year earlier, 47.3% were homeowners, ranking No. 75 nationally. In those 2005-09 go-go days, L.A.-O.C. ownership averaged 52.8%.

Ownership is also up nationally with 64.8% of homes were occupied by owners vs. 64.4% a year earlier.

The last time U.S. ownership was higher was in 2013.

Article originally published by JONATHAN LANSNER | OCRegister

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