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Local News

Wisconsin Homeownership Increases, Renters Still Struggling

Credit: iStock

Parker Wallis 

The national homeownership rate, or the share of housing units occupied by their owner, made the largest recorded quarterly increase at 2.6 percentage points from Q1 to Q2 of 2020, and the country saw 2.1 million new homeowners by the end of 2020. 

According to 2020 American Community survey data from the US Census Bureau, Wisconsin’s homeownership rate is even higher than the national average at 67.1 percent versus 64.4 percent nationwide. 

The sudden rise in homeownership has been attributed to multiple factors, including mortgage rates reaching a 30-year low and the economic recession caused by the pandemic. At the height of the pandemic in 2021, the Federal Reserve lowered its interest rates to near zero. Since the drop in 2021, mortgage rates are starting to rise again.

States with lower home prices tend to have higher homeownership rates, as is the case for Wisconsin. Nationally, Wisconsin ranks 22nd in highest homeownership, and the state’s median home value is $189,200, less than the national average ($229,800). Median household income in Wisconsin is $63,293. 

While the recent pandemic gave some Americans the opportunity to re-evaluate where and how they live, not everyone has been lucky in regards to housing. The US Census Bureau reported that in the months after the US Supreme Court struck down a Biden administration eviction moratorium, 4.4 million residential renters across the country said they were “somewhat” or “very likely” to face evictions within two months. Residential evictions like these disproportionally affect Hispanic and Black renters. 

In a 24/7 Wall St. survey using data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, Wisconsin was ranked 17th in states with renters most at risk for eviction with 15.8 percent of renters very likely to be evicted within the next two months. Wisconsin was also ranked 4th most in renters who are receiving state or local government assistance (22.2 percent) and 8th most in renters three or more months behind rent (37.4 percent). 

While Wisconsin homeownership is booming, renters in the state who cannot afford home prices are being left behind, especially after the recent Supreme Court’s decision to end the moratorium.