Housing Stock Grows Older

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The median age of owner-occupied housing reached 37 years in 2015, and only 3 percent of homes were built since 2010

Photo: Silverstone1/Wikimedia Commons

February 28, 2017

The inadequate pace of new-home building is driving up the age of U.S. housing stock. According to data from NAHB, the median age of owner-occupied housing reached 37 years in 2015, up from 31 years in 2006.

As of 2015, just 3 percent of the total owner-occupied housing stock was built in 2010 or after. Thirty-eight percent of homes were built in 1969 or before, 15 percent were built during the 1970s, 13 percent during the 1980s, and 15 percent during the 1990s. Despite the housing boom, just 16 percent of all homes today were built between 2000 and 2009.

The owners of newer homes skew younger and wealthier. Homes built after 2010 are headed by homeowners with a median age of 44 years and an average family income of $121,577. Houses built in 1969 or earlier are headed by homeowners with a median age of 58 and an average household income of $86,328.

While the demand for new housing continues to swell, so will opportunities for remodeling and renovation. Facing rising home prices and mortgage rates, a competitive real estate market, and fewer available homes on the market, current owners may find it more beneficial to stay put and fix up what they have. A remodeling project can add modern conveniences and amenities, which increases the value of the home. 

Also, for older owners in older homes, aging in place can be a better option than selling and downsizing. Those who take that route may want to add more universal design features to their homes, which is another opportunity for remodelers.

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