Why Data on Total Housing Units Are So Important

.. data on total housing units are important to the housing industry and many others .. to understand the characteristics, patterns and trends of the housing market, we need good data on the number of housing units. Understanding the how, where, when, how much housing market change might affect you … starts with the number of total housing units by geographic area. As of Census 2010, there were 131,704,730 housing units in the U.S. As of mid-2014, the total number of housing units had increased to 133,957,180 (2.25 million units, a 1.71% increase). See more detail in the related Web section.

Housing Unit Percent Change by County: 2010-2014
Patterns of housing unit percent change by county, 2010-2014, are shown in the map below. More than 1,000 counties (1,214 counties of 3,142) experienced a loss of housing units between 7/2010 and 7/2014 (orange and red fill patterns). Six counties lost more than 1,000 housing units during this period. Click graphic for larger view with details.

– view developed using CV XE GIS software and associated GIS project.
– data based partly on Census 2010 &s Census Bureau housing unit estimates.

Being Informed; Benefits of Using Total Housing Unit Data
Realtors, brokers and selling agents need to know how total housing units are trending — what has been changing where that might affect sales now and in the months ahead. The construction industry and builders need data on the number of housing units and data on the rental vacancy rate to assess likely demand by type of housing in the future. Businesses employing people who might tend to occupy rental properties need to know about the availability and affordability of nearby residential properties. Every school district needs to know how many students there will be enrolled; examining housing unit trends is imperative. By understanding that growth in the housing market may mean new jobs, and more, economic developers, planners and city/neighborhood stakeholders need to monitor what housing unit change in their area means to them. Lenders and financial institutions need these data to assess viability of loans to businesses planning to develop new housing units and assess value in making loans to potential housing buyers.

Understanding the housing stock size, trends and composition in an area, and how that differs from adjacent areas, can help determine the targeted planning for stabilizing and improving local housing markets, developing and preserving affordable rental housing and facilitating neighborhood investment.

Housing Units Defined
A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, group of rooms or single room, which are occupied or intended as separate living quarters. The separate living quarters that define a housing unit are those where the occupants live and eat separately from other residents in the structure or building, and have direct access from the building’s exterior or through a common hallway.

Using the Interactive Table to Examine Housing Unit Patterns
Use the interactive table to examine housing units trends and change by county, metro and state. The following graphic illustrates use of the table to rank counties on the housing unit change from 2010 to 2014. The graphic shows that Wayne County, MI experienced the largest decrease among all counties. Click graphic for larger view with details.

Use the interactive table to examine areas of interest. Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss use of these data using analytical tools and methods applied to your situation.

Follow my blog (click button in upper right column) where I will review related market topics, using other data resources and analytical tools available to you at no fee. Upcoming topics include an update on the Housing Price Index and the Rental Vacancy Rate access, interpretation and role as a leading economic indicator.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

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