Factoid: Housing Removal's Affect on Supply

August 1, 2004

One crucial but often overlooked force affecting the size of U.S. housing supply, and thus housing prices, is the net removal of housing for various reasons, both foreseen and unforeseen. Among them: intentional demolition; disasters, such as storms and fires; and conversion to other types of use. If no houses were built to replace these units, the housing stock would eventually wind down by 360,000 units annually, or 0.3 percent of the stock, to zero in 230 years, analysts estimate.

U.S. housing stock 120 million units

Annual net removals 360,000
Annual net removal rate 0.3 %
Years to zero units 230

Source: America’s Home Forecast: The Next Decade for Housing and Mortgage Finance, Homeownership Alliance, based on U.S. Census Bureau figures

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