Albany, N.Y., skyline

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Cities With the Biggest Spike in Homeownership

June 15, 2021

The pandemic has undeniably fueled interest in real estate and homeownership. Some metro areas have seen a bigger rise than others.

“The pandemic drove increased home buying interest in the types of livable communities that offer home buyers good value for their money and a decent number of homes to choose from,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Some markets like Albany, Sacramento, and Buffalo clearly benefited from an influx of people leaving big cities like New York and San Francisco, but many other markets are just good places to live that benefited from increased home buyer motivation thanks to low mortgage rates and a lot of time spent at home over the last year.”

Realtor.com®’s research team identified the metro areas with the largest increases in homeownership during the pandemic. They compared homeownership rates in the fourth quarter of 2020 (October through December) to the first quarter of 2021 (January through March). The metro areas listed include the surrounding towns, suburbs, and smaller urban areas, realtor.com® notes.

The following areas saw homeownership rise the most during that period:

1. Albany, N.Y.

  • Percentage homeownership change: 9%

2. Baton Rouge, La.

  • Percentage homeownership change: 8.45%

3. Columbia, S.C.

  • Percentage homeownership change: 7.3%

4. North Port, Fla.

  • Percentage homeownership increase: 7.3%

5. Virginia Beach, Va.

  • Percentage homeownership change: 5.95%

6. Sacramento, Calif.

  • Percentage homeownership change: 5.3%

7. Providence, R.I.

  • Percentage homeownership change: 5%

8. Indianapolis

  • Percentage homeownership change: 4.9%

9. Cincinnati

  • Percentage homeownership change: 4.65%

10. Buffalo, N.Y.

  • Percentage homeownership change: 4.5%

View where homeownership has dropped the most during the pandemic at realtor.com®.