Houston Ranks 9th as Top US City for Renters


Clouds over Houston Monday morning. Photo by Shannon LaNier

HOUSTON (CW39) A new report from Roofstock analyzes the distribution of U.S. homes that are renter-occupied compared to owner-occupied. Nationwide, 64% of homes were owner-occupied prior to the pandemic. In some cities, however, more than 75% homes are occupied by renters.

In Houston, 40.3% of all homes are owner-occupied while renters occupy the other 59.7%.

Owner-occupied households in Houston report a median household income of $81,164, compared to just $41,231 for renters. Out of all large U.S. cities, Houston has the 9th lowest homeownership rate.  The report also claims that states with large urban populations generally have lower homeownership rates.


#1           MIAMI                                  29.6%

#2           NEW YORK                          31.9%

#3           BOSTON                               34.7%

#4           LOS ANGELES                     36.5%

#5           SAN FRANCISCO               37.1%

#6           LONG BEACH, CA              39.2%

#7           CLEVELAND                        40.0%

#8           MILWAUKEE, WI               40.0%

#9           HOUSTON                           40.3%

#10         DALLAS                                40.6%

#11         OAKLAND                            41.3%

#12         WASHINGTON, DC           41.5%

#13         SEATTLE                               43.9%

#14         CHICAGO                             44.2%

#15         AUSTIN                                44.4%

Researchers found the cities with the highest and lowest percentage of renters by ranking cities according to their respective homeownership rates. The report includes median household income data for both owner- and renter-occupied homes.

Roofstock reports that prospective home buyers face many challenges, including a lack of inventory and rising prices, which is keeping homeownership rates low in certain areas. Many older homeowners don’t want to move, which limits available options for first-time buyers.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 60% of current homeowners bought their home in 2009 or earlier and haven’t moved since. By contrast, about half of current renters moved into their current residence in 2017 or later. 

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