In January, Eye on Housing took a look at the age of housing stock. According to the latest data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of an owner-occupied home in the United States was 35 years old as of the 2011 survey. The median age reported in the 1985 AHS was only 23 years old.
The age of the housing stock is not uniform across the United States and clear regional clustering can be seen. The geographic distribution of the median age of the entire housing stock (owned and rented) is presented using data from the 2012 American Community Survey.
The oldest homes are found in the Northeast. The state with the oldest median age is New York, at 57 years. Massachusetts is next at 54. The median age of the housing stock in the District of Columbia is 61. However, the district consists solely of urban areas and is generally not a good comparison with states.
The youngest homes are present in the southeast and mountain west. The state with the youngest median age is Nevada, at 19 years. Arizona is next at 23.
The geographic distribution of the age of the housing stock reflects the growth and movement of population within the United States. In an earlier post, Eye on Housing examined the uneven aging of the states. There is a strong correlation between state growth from 2000 to 2010 in the population below the age of 45 and the age of the housing stock. States with the largest growth in this population have the youngest housing stock.
The age of the housing stock is an important metric as older homes are less energy-efficient than new construction and will require remodeling or replacement in the years ahead. In addition, areas with higher population growth have greater demand for home building relative to states with lower population growth.