Using Census data, HouseMethod looked at the median age of homes across different geographies in the United States:
Age may just be a number, but when it comes to the age of a home, it can be an indicator of its style, features, or condition. It can even help tell a story about where it’s located. Home construction, especially in modern building, comes in waves in areas with new developments springing up as a city grows…
New York came in as the state with the oldest median home age in the U.S. at 63 years. Rhode Island was a few years younger at 60, followed closely by Massachusetts (59), Pennsylvania (57), and Connecticut (55). No surprise that the five states with the oldest median home age are all located in the northeast as they had some of the largest growth in early America.
At the other end of the spectrum, the five states with the youngest median home age are Nevada (26), Arizona (30), Utah (31), Georgia (31), and North Carolina and South Carolina tied at 32 years old. Nevada has been the fastest-growing state for roughly five decades so it follows that the homes would be the newest. Likewise, the other ‘youngest’ states have seen large population increases and the housing being built to satisfy the demand…
The county with the oldest median home age in the U.S. is Clay County, Kansas. The county’s median year of structure build is 1941, bringing the county’s median home age to 79 years. The Sunshine State of Florida holds the ‘youngest’ county in the country, with Sumter County, Florida having a median home age of 17 years.
The median is helpful here: half of the homes were constructed before, half after. I do not know if the Census reports this data but it would also be interesting to know the 25th and 75th percentiles or other points along the data distribution. Are there also places that have more compressed or longer ranges of development?
Is it surprising that there a good number of older county medians in the center of country, roughly running from Texas to the Dakotas?
This reminds me of Dolores Hayden’s book Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000. She details waves of suburban development, dependent on factors like transportation technologies and ideas about what suburbs should be and include.
What happens to the housing in the locations with older housing overall? What percent ends up fixed up and restored or designated as part of a historic district? In contrast, what percent is undesirable and not brought into a more modern era?