Adobe Stock/Amy Walters

A majority of single-family building occurs in counties that are in the lowest quintile of homeownership rates, according to an analysis of the 2021 five-year American Community Survey by the NAHB. Data indicates the four-quarter moving average market share for the lowest quintile of homeownership rates in the United States had a market share of 39.62% in the second quarter of 2023, the lowest market share dating back to the fourth quarter of 2017.

For this analysis, counties were grouped into quintiles by homeownership rate. The lowest group, the 20th percentile, had homeownership rates less than or equal to 66.53%. The next or fourth quintile was grouped as having a homeownership rates greater than 66.53% but less than or equal to the 40th percentile of 71.79%. The third quintile ranged from a rate greater than 71.79% to less than or equal to 75.56% while the second quintile was greater than 75.56% but less than or equal to 79.22%. The first quintile was any county with a homeownership rate greater than 79.22%.

The fifth quintile’s loss in single-family building market share started with the onset of the pandemic. The average market share prior to, and including the first quarter of 2020, was 44.19%. This average fell to 41.51% over several quarters following the first quarter of 2020.

Over the same period, the largest growth in market share was for the third quintile, which saw its market share grow from 14.13% to 16.65%, a 2.52 percentage point increase. The second quintile gained the second most market share between the end of 2017 and today, gaining 1.52 percentage points, as it rose from 13.10% to 14.62%. The first quintile had the third largest growth in market share, rising 1.16 percentage points from 9.87% to 11.02%. The fourth quintile fell 0.43 percentage points from 18.52% to 18.08%, the only other quintile to lose market share over this period.

With over half of the population living in relatively lower homeownership areas, single-family home building is correspondingly concentrated in places with a larger number of households. Counties with the highest homeownership rates make up the smallest share of single-family construction.

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