We’ve heard a lot about housing lately, in the press and from public policy types, but I’ve never thought the issue to be as dire as it is being portrayed. As a baseline, I thought it would be helpful to know just how many housing units are available for occupancy. The US census gives us this information.
I was surprised to see how stable the state’s profile has been over the last decade. In percentage terms, there has been little movement between the categories. We are well above the national average on the owner-occupied unit at just under 72%.
The population count for the state was just reported at 5.7 million. With an average household size of 2.6, the state needs 5.7 divided by 2.6, or 2.19 million homes. These can be townhomes or single-family, rentals, or mobile homes. Fortunately, the census shows that the state has 2.458 million units or 268,000 more units than reported by the US census workers.
There are all sorts of reason why units maybe empty. There will always be vacancies caused by folks in transit between residents. Some of the properties are second homes. But even with a vacancy rate of 10%, that still leaves 22,000 properties up for grabs.
I only point this out to suggest that there is a bit of slack in the system. How to get these units in use and available will only alleviate some of the pressures on housing demand.
I think the numbers above also allude to this sector being pretty stable over the last decade. Stories of fractures and implosions may have been overblown.