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3 ways Metro Atlanta homeownership has changed since 2007

by Peter Thomas Ricci

metro-atlanta-top-selling-counties-march-2016

From plummeting sales to skyrocketing levels of negative equity, the housing crisis affected Metro Atlanta market in a number of ways, but how did the metro area’s homeownership rate fair amidst all that upheaval?

To find out, we consulted new research from Apartment List, which combed through the last seven years of Census Bureau data. Here are the three main things we found:

1. Here is how the overall homeownership rate in Metro Atlanta has shifted since 2007, along with several other large metro areas:

Location 2007 Average 2011 Average 2016 Average Change in Rate: 2007 – 2016
Atlanta 66.4% 65.8% 62.5% -3.9%
Boston 64.8% 65.5% 58.5% -6.3%
Chicago 69.0% 67.7% 63.6% -5.4%
Denver 69.6% 63.0% 61.0% -8.6%
Houston 64.5% 61.3% 59.2% -5.3%
Los Angeles 52.3% 50.1% 47.8% -4.5%
Miami 66.6% 64.2% 57.8% -8.9%
New York 53.8% 50.9% 49.6% -4.3%
Philadelphia 73.1% 69.7% 65.4% -7.8%
Phoenix 70.8% 63.3% 62.4% -8.4%
San Francisco 58.0% 56.1% 55.6% -2.4%
Seattle 62.9% 60.7% 56.6% -6.3%

Although Metro Atlanta’s homeownership rate did drop 3.9 percentage points, falling from 66.4 percent in 2007 to 62.5 percent, that decline was among the lowest in the nation’s metro areas; in Phoenix, Miami and Denver, for instance, the rate declined more than 8 percentage points.

Still, Metro Atlanta’s rate of 62.5 percent is slightly below the national rate, which is currently 62.9 percent.


2. The country’s generations were affected in dramatically different ways when it came to homeownership in Metro Atlanta:

Generation 2007 2011 2014 Change in Rate: 2007-2014
Millennials 44.7% 36% 31.8% -13%
Gen Xers 69.5% 62.8% 58.8% -10.7%
Young Boomers 78% 71.3% 68.9% -9%
Old Boomers 82.1% 78% 75.6% -6.4%
Silent Generation 82.3% 79.5% 79.3% -3%

We have covered the housing woes of Millennials in considerable detail, and Apartment Listing’s analysis shows just how dramatic the housing divide has become between Millennials and older generations. While Millennial homeownership in Metro Atlanta is down 13 percentage points, and is now just 31.8 percent, Older Boomers have seen their homeownership rate fall just 6.4 percentage points to 75.6 percent – meaning that Older Boomers own homes at more than twice the rate of Millennials.


3. The homeownership divide is similarly pronounced along ethnic lines:

Ethnicity 2007 2011 2014 Change in Rate: 2007-2014
African American 54% 49% 47% -7.7%
Asian 74% 64% 64% -10.7%
Hispanic 46% 39% 44% -2.1%
White 80% 76% 75% -5.2%

At just 44 percent (down 4.2 percentage points), Metro Atlanta’s Hispanic community has the lowest rate of homeownership, far below the 75 percent of the area’s white population; at 47 percent, African American homeownership is similarly low.

Also notable is that Asian homeowners saw the largest decline, with their homeownership rate dropping 10.7 percentage points to 64 percent.

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