The median age of owner-occupied homes in the U.S. is 37, indicating that more properties may become pricier to maintain as they grow older and vulnerable to disrepair, according to the 2016 American Community Survey.
But builders view the aging housing stock as an opportunity. Rising home prices may prompt more households to spend more on home improvement, the National Association of Home Builders notes on its Eye on Housing blog. Further, “this indicates a strong rising demand for new construction over the long run, as current owner-occupied housing stock is older,” the NAHB writes.
More than half of the owner-occupied homes were built prior to 1980, and 38 percent before 1970. Sixteen percent of the housing stock was built between 2000 and 2009. The 3 million units that came to the market between 2010 and 2016, however, added only 4 percent to the owner-occupied housing stock.
A decline in new construction has prompted the share of homes that are six or fewer years old to fall greatly since 2006, according to the NAHB. Meanwhile, the number of homes that are 46 years old or older has jumped from 31 percent in 2006 to 38 percent in 2016.