Biggest US Housing Gains in Southern and Western States

Nationwide increases in housing stock since 2020 mirror post-pandemic moving patterns, with six states in the West and South accounting for half of new units.

2 minute read

May 20, 2024, 6:00 AM PDT

By Mary Hammon @marykhammon


View from above of wood-frame multifamily housing under construction next to green trees.

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“The United States has added almost 5 million housing units since 2020, most heavily in the South and most of them single-family homes, making a housing shortage look conquerable in much of the nation,” reports Tim Henderson for Stateline. According to Stateline analysis of Census Bureau data, six states account for 50 percent of the increase: Texas, Florida, California, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Last year alone produced the most housing units since 2007. 

Henderson notes that the pattern mirrors post-pandemic moving patterns but points out that experts say another 2 to 2.5 million units, mostly single-family homes, are needed. The US has added 1.6 million new units annually for the past two years, according to the Census Bureau data, and that pace is expected to continue. 

However, while increased stock may mean cost increases could slow or stabilize, it doesn’t necessarily mean housing prices will come down, as high interest rates continue to hurt potential homebuyers and inflation drives up the cost of building materials and labor. “The Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, reported last year that the typical homebuyer paid 35% of their income in mortgage payments in October, the highest since at least 2000,” writes Henderson.

States with affected by poverty and low population growth —  including Rhode Island, Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, Alaska and New Jersey — saw the slowest housing growth, according to Stateline analysis of Census Bureau data.

Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Stateline

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