Despite the building booms in the Sun Belt, new homes make up a smaller percentage of the total supply of available housing than they did 30 years ago, according to the Current Housing Reports of the U.S. Census Bureau, as reported in the 2001 Remodeling Homes for Changing Households, a publication of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. During the 1970s, nearly one in three houses was newly constructed; that share had dropped to about one in six in the ’90s.
This is good news for remodelers. According to the Joint Center report, the peak house age for home improvement projects is from 25 to 29 years, so that 1970s swell in construction means there is a huge pool of houses in that age range now. The news is even better for remodelers in the Southeast, where a whopping 60 percent of housing has been built since 1970. Half of those homes are now in the remodeling-ready 17- to 31-year-old age bracket.