Home ownership is a significant indicator of economic security. The primary financial investment for the vast majority of people in the U.S. is their home. Home ownership also strengthens communities by building a strong connection between people and the place they live. However, the downside of a high owner-occupancy rate is that rental options for young, old, or transitional populations are limited. A lack of rental options, often supported by local zoning regulations, can also help to perpetuate socio-economic segregation throughout the region. Home ownership is expressed as the percent of all housing units that are occupied by the property’s owner. This indicator measures the percentage of housing units (including condominiums, apartments, houses, and mobile homes) that are occupied by the owner, as opposed to a renter. The American Community Survey collects and analyzes this data, and provides estimates on an annual basis.
The percent of owner-occupied housing units in the Pioneer Valley increased from 61.1% in 2014 to 63.2% in 2015. This trend was consistent across Hampden and Hampshire counties, with each experiencing increases around 4 percent. Franklin County remained stable, decreasing less than 1 percent.