Homeownership remains a hallmark of the American Dream and a goal for people of all backgrounds. During the uncertain economic times we currently face, homeownership also is seen as an important means of stability and financial security.

The national homeownership rate hit a seven-year high in 2020. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 65.3 percent of American households were homeowners in the first quarter of 2020, up from 64.2 percent a year earlier, and up from the multi-decade low of 62.9 percent in the second quarter of 2016.

In Virginia, the homeownership rate in the first quarter of 2020 was 67.3 percent, up modestly from the first quarter of 2019. Like in the rest of the country, homeownership rates in Virginia were very high during the housing market boom. Homeownership rates declined steadily between 2008 and 2013 and bottomed out in Virginia in the first quarter of 2016.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeownership rates are higher in the Richmond metropolitan area than in either the Virginia Beach or Washington DC metropolitan area. In the first quarter 2020, the homeownership rate in the Richmond metropolitan area was 69.9 percent, up from 64.7 percent a year earlier. While the homeownership rate was up in the Washington DC region in 2020, the Census Bureau reports that there was a decline in homeownership rates in the Virginia Beach metropolitan area, a region which includes not only the City of Virginia Beach, but also a number of cities and counties in the Hampton Roads region.

Virginia REALTORS® are the essential link, connecting individuals and families with homeownership in the Commonwealth. During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia REALTORS® have adopted new ways of doing business and have employed technology tools to continue to make homeownership a reality for thousands of people across the state. Demand for homeownership will remain high as we emerge from the current economic downturn; it is possible that the homeownership rate in Virginia will rise in the years to come.