A tear-down start is when the construction of a home is on a site where a previous structure was torn down before the new home could begin development. In 2015, the NAHB estimates there was a total of 55,000 tear downs, according to the NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog.
In some areas around the country, starting new housing developments is not as easy as just finding some open land and clearing it, because there simply isn’t open land available. Due to topographical or political constraints, sometimes it is a better, easier option for builders and developers to replace older structures with new ones.
In February, the NAHB asked its panel of single-family builders about the number of homes they started in 2015 and the number that were built on a site where a previous structure existed before they began.
51 percent of builders said none of their housing starts were tear-downs and 3 percent responded that all of their starts were tear-downs. Overall, the weighted average was 7.73 percent. This weighted average equals a total of 55,200 single-family tear-downs in 2015.
On a regional basis, the South had the most tear-downs with an estimated total of 28,600, which is about 7 percent of its total starts. The Northeast had the greatest percentage of starts represented as tear-downs at 15 percent and the West had the smallest amount at 6 percent. It makes sense that the Northeast would have the largest percentage of tear-downs as it also has the oldest housing stock and has many densely settled cities that lack buildable open space.
For the full report and associated graphs, click the link below.