Erie County Homeownership is on the Decline

January 9th, 2019, 12:00 AM

Newly released data show that homeownership in Erie County is on the decline, as is affordability. 

Homeownership has fallen to 66%, down from 69% in 2000, according to new data posted on Erie Vital Signs spanning the years 2013-17 from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. While homes in the county are still considered relatively affordable, with an affordability ratio of 2.6, that is up from 2.3. Affordability is gauged by dividing the median home value by median income; ratios below 3 are considered affordable.

In the City of Erie, homeownership was lower, at 51%, and homes were a bit more affordable, with a ratio of 2.4.

Rent was also rising, up 10% in the County since 2000, to $723 in 2013-17. Monthly median rent in the City of Erie was $679, up 9% since 2000.

In addition, Erie County had greater racial and ethnic disparities in homeownership rates than the state and nation. In 2013-17, rates were 70% for white residents, compared to 29% for African American residents and 33% for Hispanic residents. 

Nationwide, homeownership was higher among African American and Hispanic residents at 46% for both groups.

New national research explores the historical causes and implications of devaluation of property in predominantly African American neighborhoods. 

For more indicators of the local economy and how residents are faring, see the Economy section of Erie Vital Signs.

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