This paper focuses on differentials between rental and owner costs as a primary determinant of local homeownership. In simultaneous equations to estimate the separate effects of owner cost and rent on homeownership rates, the control variables are various household and geographical factors (Census 2000 tract level dataset), in the samples of 48 contiguous states within the United States. The results show negative effects of rental and owner costs on homeownership rates. Ethnicity, income, age, property tax rate and loan usage rates, contribute to increased owner costs. Several factors had significant association with the rise in housing prices before 2006.