The last 16 years have seen a fundamental shift in housing in America. Homeownership has consistently fallen nationally with the exception of the northeast and specific pockets of population. Elsewhere in the United States, multifamily residential housing is increasing.
In 2000, homeownership represented 67.1% of American housing. This increased to 69.2% in 2004. This number decreased through the economic downturn before reaching a low of 62.9% in 2016. Nationally, 72.4% of the largest zip codes recorded a decrease in homeownership for the time-period of 2000 to 2016.
Some metropolitan areas had great shifts, while some remained stable overall, but saw neighborhoods within the area shift. Some metro areas saw a neighborhood housing shift as much as 33% from homeownership to renting.
The top 20 metro neighborhoods with the greatest shifts have some things in common. One is that they each had occupied multifamily units representing an increasing share of housing occupancy. The second is that these neighborhoods also had household income growth lower than the metro area as a whole. 16 out of the top 20 neighborhoods with the most change measured a more than 15% shift towards multifamily housing units.
The highest shift to homeownership was seen in farmland areas that were split and developed into denser subdivisions. Coincidentally, these areas were also measured to have greater household income growth rate.