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Housing Stock Just Keeps Getting Older—What it Means for New Homes

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New-Home Sales

Housing Stock Just Keeps Getting Older—What it Means for New Homes


June 4, 2021
historic row houses
Photo: jonbilous | stock.adobe.com

The slow increase in the median age of housing stock in the U.S. points toward an increase in remodeling. The median age of a home in the U.S. increased by just eight years since 2005, reaching 39 years in 2021. The rate of new-home construction fell while rising home prices push homeowners to engage in renovation and remodeling rather than purchasing a new home. New construction between 2010 and 2019 accounted for just 7% of owner-occupied housing. But the National Association of Home Builders says the rising number of owner households reflects a strong preference for new construction.

New construction added nearly 5.4 million units to the national stock from 2010 to 2019, accounting for only 7% of owner-occupied housing stock in 2019. Owner-occupied homes constructed between 2000 and 2009 make up 15% of the housing stock. But more than half of the owner-occupied homes were built before 1980, with around 38% built before 1970. Due to modest gains of housing construction, the share of new construction built within past 9 years declined greatly, from 15% in 2006 to only 7% in 2019. Meanwhile, the share of housing stock built 50 year ago or earlier increased significantly from 30% in 2009 to 37% in 2019.

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