Aging Housing Stock Signals Remodeling Opportunities

Graph of Owner-Occupied Housing By Year Structure Built

The U.S. owner-occupied housing stock is aging rapidly especially after the Great Recession, as residential construction continues to fall behind in the number of new homes built. With a lack of sufficient supply of new construction, the aging housing stock signals a growing remodeling market, as old structures need to add new amenities or repair/replace old components.

Rising home prices also encourage home owners to spend more on home improvement. Over the long run, the aging of the housing stock implies that remodeling may grow faster than new construction.

The median age of owner-occupied homes is 40 years, according to the latest data from the 2021 American Community Survey. A little less than half of the owner-occupied homes were built before 1980, with around 35% built before 1970. New construction added nearly 8.3 million units to the national stock from 2010 to 2021, accounting for only 10% of owner-occupied housing stock in 2021.

Due to modest supply of housing construction, the share of new construction built within past 11 years declined greatly, from 17% in 2011 to only 10% in 2021.

Na Zhao, Ph.D., a principal economist at NAHB, provides more details in this Eye on Housing post.

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