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Housing indicators illustrate an area’s economic health, desirability, quality of life, and affordability. The city of Syracuse and Onondaga County offer a variety of housing options in urban, suburban, and rural locales. Purchase and rental prices are well below state and national averages. Understanding the factors that characterize an area’s housing market enables policymakers to design policies and programs that will enhance the area’s quality of life.

The Greater Syracuse area was not as severely affected by the recent nationwide housing market crisis and for many in this area, the dream of homeownership can still be a reality. Although foreclosure rates have increased in the Greater Syracuse area, they are still among the lowest in the nation.

Nevertheless, the Greater Syracuse area still faces significant challenges. Over half of housing units in the city of Syracuse were built before 1940. The city suffers from an overabundance of vacant and abandoned rental properties, low rates of homeownership, and a high incidence of code violations and tax delinquencies.

Understanding these challenges is essential to revitalizing distressed neighborhoods and stabilizing the housing market.