Fewer and fewer Americans have been buying homes over the last decade. Today, just 63.0% of Americans own their homes, the smallest share since 1965. In the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area, 53.5% of residents own their homes, lower than the national homeownership rate and the eighth lowest of any metro area in California.

Young Americans are far less likely to own a home than older citizens, who have more savings and less mobility. Despite the low homeownership rate in the San Francisco metro area, the population is slightly older. The typical San Francisco resident is 38.9 years old, slightly higher than the national median age of 37.8 years.

One of the main factors affecting homeownership is the relative mobility of area families. Residents of dense, urban cities are often less likely to buy a home than those in rural areas, which tend to have less outbound migration and whose residents are consequently more likely to invest in a home. There are 58,805 residents per square mile in San Francisco, a greater population density than the average of 6,088 Americans per square mile across all U.S. metro areas.

While homeownership requires a higher level of financial stability than rental housing does, cities with more homeowners are often less wealthy. Educated, wealthy Americans are often more likely to move from their hometowns to pursue professional opportunities. Such families often delay buying a home and will rent for longer periods of time.

In San Francisco, 47.2% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, a larger share than the national college attainment rate of 30.6% of adults. The typical worker earns $45,160 a year, more than the national median annual earnings of $31,394.

Rank City Homeownership
rate
10 Ocala, FL 76.0%
9 Ocean City, NJ 76.5%
8 Bay City, MI 76.9%
7 Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL 77.0%
6 East Stroudsburg, PA 77.3%
5 Barnstable Town, MA 77.4%
4 Gettysburg, PA 78.7%
3 Monroe, MI 80.1%
2 Homosassa Springs, FL 81.4%
1 The Villages, FL 90.4%