US Housing (2023 – 24): Single-Family Units Completed, Homeownership and Vacancy Rates, & Homelessness

Below you will see the evolution of the number of new privately-owned single-family homes completed from 1968 to 2024, along with the effect of the recessions on these numbers.

You will also see the homeownership, rental vacancy, and home vacancy rates for each state and how these rates trended from 1986 to 2023, along with the effect of the recessions on these rates.

Finally, you will see estimates of homelessness among all the US states and territories and how these estimates trended from 2007 to 2023.

The data about single-family homes, homeownership, rental vacancy, and home vacancy rates are from the U.S. Census [1,2,3], the data about the estimates of homelessness come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [4,5], and the data about the recessions come from the National Bureau of Economic Research [6].

Single-Family Homes Completed in the US and Recessions

new privately owned housing units completed 2020-2024

The number of single-family units completed in the US dropped from 960K units when the COVID-19 recession started in February 2020 to 876K units when the recession ended in April 2020. The recessionary period is marked with a gray vertical band.

Then the number of units completed continued to drop to 827K units one month later.

From May 2020 to November 2022, the number of units rose from 827K to 1,102K, which is a 33% rise.

After that, the number of units dropped from 1,102K to 892K in January 2024, which is a 19% drop.

However, this number bounced up to 1,072K in February 2024, a 20% rise.

new privately owned housing units completed 1968-2024

The effect of the COVID-19 recession on the number of single-family units in the US is not unique. Other recessions have caused the number of single-family units completed to drop.

During the recession from December 1969 to November 1970, the number of units dropped from 830K to 715K.

During the recession from November 1973 to March 1975, the number of units dropped from 1,171K to 760K.

During the recession from January 1980 to July 1980, the number of units dropped from 1,310K to 874K.

During the recession from July 1981 to November 1982, the number of units dropped from 879K to 555K.

Note that during those last two recessions, which are 1 year apart from each other, the number of units dropped from 1,310K to 555K, a 57% drop.

During the recession from July 1990 to March 1991, the number of units dropped from 989K to 800K.

During the recession from March 2001 to November 2001, the number of units did not drop but instead rose from 1,122K to 1,334K. This was the only recession from 1968 to 2024 that did not cause the number of units to drop.

During the recession from December 2007 to June 2009 (also known as the Great Recession), the number of units dropped from 1,128K to 492K, which is a 56% drop. Nine months before the Great Recession in March 2007, the number of units started to drop from 1,911K to 1,128K. From March 2007 to the end of the recession, the number of units dropped by 74%.

Homeownership, Rental Vacancy, and Home Vacancy Rates in the US

Homeownership Rates by State in 2023

homeownership rate by state in 2023 - us housing market homeownership rate by state in 2023 - us housing market - alaska homeownership rate by state in 2023 - us housing market - hawaii

The homeownership rate is the proportion of housing units that are occupied by owners [3, p. 7].

In 2023, the states with a homeownership rate of at least 70% were Idaho (71%), Montana (71%), Utah (70.3%), Wyoming (74.5%), New Mexico (70.3%), Minnesota (74%), Iowa (71.8%), Michigan (74.1%), Indiana (73.3%), Mississippi (75.5%), Alabama (73.8%), South Carolina (73%), West Virginia (77%), Pennsylvania (71%), Maine (75.5%), New Hampshire (74.3%), and Vermont (73.7%). The maximum homeownership rate was 77%.

Washington, D.C., had the lowest homeownership rate of 40.2%, followed by New York (53.3%) and California (55.8%).

Home Vacancy Rates by State in 2023

home vacancy rate by state in 2023 - us housing market home vacancy rate by state in 2023 - us housing market - alaska home vacancy rate by state in 2023 - us housing market - hawaii

The U.S. Census defines the home vacancy rate (or homeowner vacancy rate) as the proportion of unoccupied homes for sale by owners during the time of the data collection [3, p.6].

In 2023, the states with a home vacancy rate of at least 1% were Louisiana (1.5%), Texas (1.3%), Oklahoma (1.3%), Arkansas (1.2%), Georgia (1.1%), Kansas (1.1%), Washington, D.C. (1.1%), Florida (1%), New York (1%), Nevada (1%). Note that 1.5% was the highest rate among all the states.

The states with a home vacancy rate of at most 0.5% were Wisconsin (0.5%), New Hampshire (0.3%), Vermont (0.3%), Massachusetts (0.4%), Rhode Island (0.3%), North Carolina (0.5%), and Kentucky (0.5%). The rate of 0.3% was the lowest among all the states.

Rental Vacancy Rates by States in 2023

rental vacancy rate by state in 2023 - us housing market rental vacancy rate by state in 2023 - us housing market - alaska rental vacancy rate by state in 2023 - us housing market - hawaii

The rental vacancy rate is the proportion of rental housing units that are vacant for rent [3, p. 6].

In 2023, Arkansas had the highest rental vacancy rate of 11.1%, followed by Indiana (10.5%), South Carolina (10.3%), Alabama (9.3%), and Texas (9.2%).

Massachusetts had the lowest rental vacancy rate of 2.5%, followed by Maine (2.9%), New Jersey (3.1%), Kentucky (3.5%), Vermont (3.5%), and Rhode Island (3.7%).

Rates from 1986 to 2023

homeownership rental home vacancy rates - 1986-2023 - us housing market

During the recession between 1990-91 (gray band), the homeownership rate in the US went from 63.9% in 1990 to 64.1% in 1991, the rental vacancy rate went from 7.2% to 7.4%, and the home vacancy rate stayed unchanged (1.7%).

During the recession in 2001, the homeownership rate in the US went from 67.8% in 2001 to 67.9% in 2002. The rental vacancy rate rose from 8.4% in 2001 to 8.9% in 2002, and the home vacancy rate dropped from 1.8% in 2001 to 1.7% in 2002.

During the Great Recession between 2007-09, the homeownership rate in the US dropped from 68.1% in 2007 to 67.4% in 2009. The rental vacancy rate rose from 9.7% in 2007 to 10.6% in 2009, and the home vacancy rate dropped from 2.8% in 2007 to 2.6% in 2009.

The homeownership rate continued dropping until 2016 to 63.4%. The rental vacancy rate also kept dropping until 2016 to 6.9%, and the home vacancy rate kept dropping until 2022 to 0.8%.

During the COVID-19 recession in 2020, the homeownership rate dropped from 66.6% in 2020 to 65.5% in 2021. The rental vacancy rate also dropped 6.3% in 2020 to 6.1% in 2021, and the home vacancy rate dropped from 1% in 2020 to 0.9% in 2021.

Estimates of Homelessness by US State and Territory

Overall Homeless in 2023

number of homeless people by us state and territories in 2023

number of continuum of care programs by us state and territories-homelessness statistics in 2023

The Continuum of Care (CoC) service areas in each US state and territory provide point-in-time estimates of homelessness to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [4].

The point-in-time estimates count the number of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January [5].

In 2023, the two states with the highest estimates of homelessness were California (181K) and New York (103K), followed by Florida (30K), Washington (28K), Texas (27K), and Oregon (20K).

Overall Homeless by US State and Territory: 2007 – 2023

number of homeless people by us state and territories 2007-2023

From 2007 to 2023, California had a minimum estimate of 57K homeless people and a maximum of 181K. This state had the highest estimates of homelessness among all of the US states and territories each year, except in 2021 when its estimate was 57K while the estimate of New York was 78K.

Next came New York, with a minimum estimate of 61K and a maximum of 103K. New York was the second state with the highest estimate of homelessness each year, except in 2021 when it had the highest among all states and territories.

Florida was the third state with the highest estimate of homelessness each year. It had a minimum estimate of 21K and maximum estimate of 57K.

Texas was the fourth state with a minimum estimate of 17K and a maximum of 40K.

Washington was the fifth state with a minimum estimate of 11K and a maximum of 28K.

Below are the estimates for each state and territory from 2007 to 2023, along with the median and average.

estimates of homelessness by state and territory 2007-2023 estimates of homelessness by state and territory 2007-2023 - 2

References

[1] U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, New Privately-Owned Housing Units Completed: Single-Family Units [COMPU1USA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/COMPU1USA

[2] U.S. Census Bureau, Homeownership and Vacancy Rates by State, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/release/tables?rid=144&eid=258449

[3] U.S. Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, Definitions and Explanations: https://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/definitions.pdf

[4] U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, PIT and HIC Data Since 2007: https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/3031/pit-and-hic-data-since-2007/

[5] U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Point-in-Time Count and Housing Inventory Count: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/hdx/pit-hic/#2024-pit-count-and-hic-guidance-and-training

[6] National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions: https://www.nber.org/research/data/us-business-cycle-expansions-and-contractions

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