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Va. home-ownership rate back on the rise

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Virginia’s home-ownership rate rose from 2018 to 2019, according to new Census Bureau data, part of a trend across most states.

The commonwealth’s home-ownership rate of 66.1 percent in 2019 was up from 65.9 percent in 2018, although down from the 66.6-percent rate recorded in 2017, according to Census officials.

The rate was higher than the national average of 64.1 percent in 2019, itself highest since 2011 and representing 122.8 million households and 78.7 million homeowners.

(Figures are based on statistics from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.).

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In the run-up to the 2008 recession, home-ownership rates had increases consistently, but they then fell, dropping to a national rate of 63 percent in 2014 before moving up.

The 2019 national rate of 64.1 percent remains below the peak years of 2005 to 2009, as the economic freefall approached and hit. Nationally, the percentage of homeowners bottomed out in 2015.

From 2009 to 2014, 46 states and the District of Columbia experienced statistically significant decreases in home-ownership. Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Rhode Island and Florida were among the states with the largest decreases during this time.

But between 2014 and 2019, many states experienced a rebound in home ownership. Thirty-one states showed statistically significant increases in their ownership rates, with the biggest coming in Wyoming, Arizona and Idaho.

Only two states – North Dakota and Connecticut – showed declines in home-ownership rates during that period. In the case of North Dakota, a booming oil-and-gas economy brought many out-of-staters looking for work, but not necessarily seeking a permanent abode.

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