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How Many Houses Are in the U.S.? (2024 Update)

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With the skyrocketing prices of homes in the United States, it’s only natural to wonder, how many homes are in the U.S.? How old is the average first-time homebuyer, and how many new homes hit the market every year?

We understand that you have questions and that there is a lot to dive into, but we’ll break down everything you need to know here.

divider 1 How Many Houses Are in the U.S.?

It seems like when you’re driving down the road that there’s a house on every corner. But just how many houses are out there?

Given the most recent data available to us, we can evaluate the statistics from 2020 and use historical trends to provide us with a really good estimate of how many homes are out there.

In 2020, there were 140.8 million homes in the United States, according to the Statista Research Department. This represents roughly a 1.2 million home increase from 2019, and the 1 to 1.2 million more homes per year are right in line with historical trends over the last 20 years.

Using this number, we can estimate that there were roughly 142 million homes in the United States by the end of 2021, and by the end of 2022, there will likely be around 143 million homes. Of course, these numbers are just estimates, but even with the competing factors of rising prices and high demand, we expect the current figures to stay close to historical trends.

house with garage for two cars
Image Credit: Pixabay

How Many More Houses Does the U.S. Need?

With skyrocketing housing prices, it’s no surprise to find out that the United States is facing a housing shortage. This housing shortage spans the entirety of the country, but just how many more houses does the U.S. need to get on top of things?

While estimates vary some, one reliable estimate from NPR states that the United States needs about 4 million more homes to meet demand. Considering these housing trends, we can see that one thing is for sure: This housing crisis isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

How Old Is the Average First-Time Homebuyer?

While there’s no set age that you need to or can expect to purchase your first home, in the United States, the average first-time homebuyer is 34 years old.

But just because you don’t have a home by the time you are 34 doesn’t mean you’re too late. The average homebuyer in general is 45, and many people don’t purchase their first home until well after that.

If you’re looking to become a homeowner, the key is to stay persistent and never give up on the dream. Since a house is an appreciating asset, when you purchase one, you’re actually building your net worth in the process!

family standing infront of a new house
Image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock

How Many Vacant Houses in the United States?

One staggering statistic that might not jive with the overall home shortage in the United States is the number of vacant homes. According to the most recent statistics pushed out by the United States Census Bureau, there are currently 15 million vacant homes in the United States.

While this might sound like the solution everyone needs, the truth is a bit more complicated. There are three main reasons that homes sit vacant in the United States, and a few of them completely restrict them from hitting the market.

First, about 1/3 of all vacant homes in the United States are completely abandoned and need significant repairs. That’s roughly 5 million homes that sit empty every night but in many ways, are completely unlivable.

Another third of those homes are seasonal or occasional homes. Simply put, many Americans own more than one home and have no intention of renting or letting others live in their home when they’re not there.

Finally, at any given time, about 1/3 of all homes in the United States are simply between owners. These are homes awaiting renters, waiting for the contract to close out, or simply on the market for sale.

These 5 million homes are all accounted for when addressing the current housing crisis, so they don’t count at all toward the 4 million homes that the U.S. needs to meet demand.

divider 1 Final Thoughts: Housing in the US

While there’s undoubtedly a housing shortage in the United States, you can at least take a little refuge in knowing that more than a million new homes hit the market every year, and those numbers won’t drop any time soon.

Sure, we’re not building our way out of this housing shortage any time soon, but at least we’re on the right track, and more and more homes hit the market every month! If you find that you’re stressed out and think that you’re running out of time to purchase a home, there are far more elderly home buyers than you might think.

So, don’t stress, and do keep an eye out; your dream home might just be hitting the market at a price that you can afford sooner than you think.

Featured Image Credit: Robert Kneschke, shutterstock


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