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Our Houses Are Getting Older

comments (0) January 24th, 2014 in Blogs
ScottG Scott Gibson, contributing writer

The median age of owner-occupied houses in the United States rose sharply between 1985 and 2011, from 23 years to 35 years, and that may bode well for both remodelers and new-home builders in the years ahead, the National Association of Home Builders says.

In an "Eye on Housing" report, NAHB reports that the data was collected by the Census Bureau for its American Housing Survey. The 2011 survey found that 41% of all owner-occupied housing was built before 1969. The percentage of houses that old was just 27% in 1991, and 35% in 2001.

"This information is important for housing demand, as older homes are less energy-efficient than new construction and will require remodeling or replacement in the years ahead," the report says. "The aging housing stock represents an opportunity for well positioned builders and developers in areas where the population is not in decline."

If you want to learn more about the American Housing Survey, visit its website, where you'll find a variety of links, including one for details of the 2011 survey.

In a separate report, NAHB says the median level of home-improvement spending in 2013 was $1.9 million per ZIP code, or $1400 per owner-occupied home. But spending could be much higher, depending on where you live. After crunching the numbers, NAHB identified the five top ZIP codes in the country--two in California and three in New York--and says the highest spending per house was $5653 in California's 94528 ZIP code. That's in Diablo, Calif., in Contra Costa County near San Francisco.

According to the NAHB, the state with the highest level of home-improvement spending isn't really a state: it's the District of Columbia, with an estimate of $2601 per house.

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