The median age of a home in the U.S. is 39 years old. The aging housing stock signals a growing remodeling market ahead, according to a new report from the National Association of Home Builders.
As homes age, they need repairs or updated components such as appliances. Homeowners may add amenities to older homes as well, to have them better compete against more modern home styles and amenities.
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“Rising home prices also encourage home owners to spend more on home improvement,” the NAHB says on its Eye on Housing blog. The aging housing stock also likely will lead to rising demand for new construction over the long run as homes get older, the NAHB notes.
More than half of owner-occupied homes were built before 1980. About 38% were built before 1970. Meanwhile, new-home construction has not kept up the pace over the past nine years, with the share of new homes dropping from 15% in 2006 to 7% in 2019, according to the builders’ trade group.
The share of housing stock built 50 years ago or more jumped from 30% in 2009 to 37% in 2019.
The country’s aging housing stock is prompting homeowners to make more home renovations, particularly younger owners who have faced limited housing inventories for sale. Nearly half of U.S. homeowners plan to upgrade or remodel their homes this year, according to a survey from 2021 conducted by LendingHome, a lender to real estate investors. The trend is most prominent among homeowners between the ages of 25 to 44, who are undertaking the most renovations and looking to bring new trends and renovations to the aging homes they purchase.