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US Census Bureau News Release

MONDAY, OCT. 6, 2008

Nation’s Housing Stock Reaches 128 Million

     From seasonal vacation homes to mobile homes, housing units in the United States increased from 124.4 million in 2005 to 128.2 million in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of occupied housing units went from 108.9 million to 110.7 million.

     These new figures come from the 2007 American Housing Survey (AHS) [PDF], a useful information source on the quality of housing in the United States. Statistics are provided for apartments, single-family homes, manufactured housing, new construction and vacant housing units.

     Issued jointly every two years by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, this survey highlights characteristics of the nation’s housing stock, providing information on such things as the presence of air conditioning, type of heating fuel used, satisfaction with the neighborhood, rental assistance and size of the home. The survey also covers the demographic characteristics of the housing units’ occupants.

     Among the findings, median monthly housing costs for owners were $927 in 2007. For renters, housing costs were $755.

     The median home value in 2007 was $191,471 and the median monthly payment for principal and interest was $852 for owner-occupied housing.

     Half of the occupied units built since 2003 had a usable fireplace; 58 percent had a separate dining room.

     Among the 75.6 million homes that were owner-occupied, 24.9 million units, or one in three, were owned free and clear without a mortgage.

     Among all occupied housing units:

  • Slightly less than 3 million homes had broken windows; slightly more than 3 million had bars on the windows.
  • 70.8 million homes had dishwashers.
  • 3.75 million housing units had six people or more residing in the home.

     For the first time, the American Housing Survey asked homeowners about safety equipment in their homes in 2007. Following are some of the results:

  • 93 percent of homeowners had a working smoke detector.
  • 90 percent of those smoke detectors were powered by batteries or a batteries and electricity combination.
  • 76 percent of those homeowners had replaced their batteries in the last six months.
  • In the past two years, 49 percent of homeowners had purchased or recharged a fire extinguisher.
  • 2 percent had a sprinkler system.
  • 37 percent had a working carbon monoxide detector.

     Data from this survey are available at the national and regional level, and for inside and outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and urban and rural areas.

     The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the AHS to update housing statistics for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The AHS contains a wealth of information that can be used by professionals in nearly every field for planning, decision-making, market research or various kinds of program development.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office |  Last Revised: October 06, 2008