Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.
While saving up for a down payment and closing costs can be difficult, the U.S. Census Bureau says that individuals in some cities are increasingly buying over renting. According to a recent report, almost 3 out of 10 owner-occupied homes are one-person households, which means that 36.2 million homes in 2020 were owned by single homeowners. SmartAsset crunched the numbers to identify and rank the cities where single homeowners are buying the most.
To do this, we looked at single homeownership rates in 2015 and 2019 for the 100 largest cities in the country and compared them. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section at the end.
This is SmartAsset’s third version of our study on where single homeownership rates are rising. Read the 2020 version here.
1. Aurora, CO
This suburb of Denver tops our 2021 ranking as the city where most single homeowners are choosing to buy over rent. According to 2019 data, almost 60% of people living alone in Aurora own their home. This is a 10.58% jump since 2015. The city also has the second-highest 2019 single homeownership rate overall in the study, trailing only Chesapeake, Virginia.
2. Anaheim, CA
The single homeownership rate in Anaheim, California, increased from 33.96% in 2015 to 42.74% in 2019, an increase of 8.78 percentage points. The median monthly housing cost for an owner in this city is $2,095, compared with the monthly median rent of $1,733, which is only a difference of $362 between owning and renting.
3. Corpus Christi, TX
The single homeownership rate in Corpus Christi, Texas, went up by 6.01% between 2015 and 2019. The median home value in this city is just $157,100 and the median monthly housing cost for a homeowner with a mortgage comes to $1,557.
4. Newark, NJ
Single homeownership in Newark, New Jersey, has grown 5.15% in recent years, jumping from 15.23% in 2015 to 20.39% in 2019. The median home value in this city is $270,600. And the median monthly housing cost for a homeowner with a mortgage amounts to $2,184.
5. Atlanta, GA
Single homeownership in Atlanta, Georgia, increased by 5.12% between 2015 and 2019. The overall median monthly housing cost in this city is $1,640 for homeowners, but that number goes up to $2,132 if you have a mortgage.
6. Mesa, AZ
Just over 50% of one-person households in Mesa, Arizona, were owner-occupied homes in 2015. By 2019, that number was more than 55%, with a total increase of 5.03 percentage points over that period. Homes in Mesa are relatively affordable, with a median value of $259,300.
7. St. Petersburg, FL
Homeownership for single homeowners in St. Petersburg, Florida, went up 4.43% between 2015 and 2019. The median monthly housing cost here for an owner with a mortgage is $1,558 — which is $380 more than the median monthly rent of $1,178.
8. Boise, ID
Boise, Idaho, has a 2019 single homeownership rate of 52.72%, which is 4.32% higher than it was in 2015. Even with a mortgage, the average home payment for an owner with a mortgage in Boise is just $1,414 based on 2019 data — $371 more than the median monthly rent of $1,043.
9. Henderson, NV
The rate of single homeownership in Henderson, Nevada, increased 4.20% between 2015 and 2019. The median monthly housing cost for a homeowner in this city is actually lower than the median monthly rent — $1,376 versus $1,388. But if you look specifically at homeowners who are still paying off their mortgages, the median monthly housing cost goes up to $1,778.
10. New Orleans, LA
The New Orleans, Louisiana, homeownership rate for single homeowners in 2015 was 35.15%. By 2019 it had increased by 3.81% to 38.96%. The median monthly rent in The Big Easy for 2019 was $1,010 and the median monthly housing cost was $1,164 for all homeowners ($1,683 for homeowners who are still paying off their mortgages).
Data and Methodology
To find the cities where singles are increasingly choosing to buy over rent, we looked at data on the 100 largest U.S. cities across two metrics:
- Percentage of owner-occupied one-person households in 2015. This is the number of owner-occupied households as a percentage of all one-person households in 2015.
- Percentage of owner-occupied one-person households in 2019. This is the number of owner-occupied households as a percentage of all one-person households in 2019.
Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 and 2019 one-year American Community Surveys.
To create our rankings, we calculated the difference between the percentage of owner-occupied one-person households in 2019 and the percentage in 2015. We ranked cities according to those that had the largest difference between those two years.
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