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New Home Construction Statistics and Trends (2024)

Author Icon By Shane Sentelle Updated 01/14/2024

New home construction in the United States endured a lot of change over the last decade. Coming off the financial crisis of 2008, the production of newly built homes plummeted. The lower production rate can be mostly attributed to homebuilders wanting to avoid having a large inventory of houses and land without interested purchasers.

As the 2010s progressed, so did the recovery of new residential construction. That is until new home starts took a nosedive in 2020 due to the pandemic. New home starts have ramped up again in 2021 and 2022, but more is needed to combat the housing shortage. We’ve compiled an updated resource of construction data and statistics around new U.S. home construction.


New Home Construction Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau works with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to release monthly and annual data documenting the state of the new residential construction market. These agencies collect building permit data through surveys. You can pull many meaningful statistics from these datasets; we’ve outlined some top ones below.

  • In 2022, 1.65 million housing units were authorized by building permits in the United States.¹
  • The number of housing authorizations by building permits in March 2023 was nearly 25% lower than in March 2022 when looking at the seasonally adjusted annual rate.¹
  • There were 1,552,600 privately owned housing units that began construction in 2022.¹
  • The number of housing units started in 2022 decreased by 2% compared to 2021.¹
  • In March 2023, 1,420 new housing unit builds were started, which is a 17.2% decrease year over year.¹
  • The number of single-family homes started in 2021 was 1,127,200.¹
  • In 2022, 1,005,200 single-family homes were started—a drop of nearly 11% from 2021.¹
  • While single-family home construction declined from 2021 to 2022, housing starts for multi-family homes (two or more units) increased.¹
  • In 2022, 1,390,500 privately owned housing units completed construction—a 3.6% increase over 2021.¹
  • Nearly three-quarters (73.5%) of all homes completed in 2022 were single-family homes.¹
  • In March 2023, 12.9% more housing units were completed compared to March 2022.¹

New Home Construction Geography

The quantity and type of new U.S. home construction varies by region. Data also shows that many Americans are moving away from the Northeast and West Coast and gravitating toward the South.

  • In 2022, the South had the highest number of new housing units started (834,100). Comparatively, the region with the second-highest number was the West at 370,600.¹
  • The South accounted for nearly 54% of all new housing units starting in 2022.¹
  • Nearly 70% of new housing units started in the South were single-family homes in 2022.¹
  • The Northeast had the fewest new housing units in 2022 (142,100). This was 9.2% of the U.S. total.¹
  • Only 44% of the housing starts in the Northeast in 2022 were single-family homes, compared to other regions where at least 62% of housing unit starts were single-family homes.¹

New Homes Sold Statistics

While we’ve looked at the statistics of new homes that were started and completed in 2021 and 2022, we also want to look at how many homes were sold (and were still for sale) to understand the housing market for new homes. The statistics suggest that the increase in mortgage interest rates in 2022 dramatically impacted sales in the new home market.

  • The Western region of the United States saw the largest percent decrease in sales of newly constructed homes in 2022 compared to 2021, with a 23.5% decline year over year. ²
  • There were 66,000 new homes sold in the Midwest in 2022, a 23.3% decrease from 2021.²
  • In 2022, 641,000 new residential construction homes were sold in the United States.²
  • There were about 17% fewer new homes sold in 2022 than in 2021.²
  • There were 455,000 new homes had yet to be sold by the end of 2022.²
  • Most new homes sold in 2022 sold for between $500,000 and $749,000 (28.4%).²
  • Of new homes sold in 2022, 27.8% of them sold for between $300,000 and $400,000.²
  • From 2021 to 2022, there was a 15.2% increase in number of new homes sold in the $500,000 and $749,000 range.²
  • Less than 1% of all new homes sold in 2022 were priced under $200,000.²
  • Nearly half (49%) of all new homes sold in 2022 were under construction when they were sold.²
  • About 20% of homes sold in 2022 were purchased before construction began.²
  • In 2021, more than 28.8% of new homes were sold before construction began.²
  • There was a 43.7% decline in homes sold before construction from 2021 to 2022.²
  • There were 16.4% more new homes for sale at the end of 2022 than there were at the end of 2021.²

Homebuilding Industry Statistics

The residential homebuilding industry plays an important role in the health of the U.S. economy and employment market. You can pull many economic indicators from the health of the new home construction market to predict the future of the real estate market and the national economy. Let’s look at some of the economic data of the homebuilding industry.

  • The value of new residential construction projects in the United States was an estimated $881 billion in 2022, a 12% increase from 2021.³
  • Over the last 20 years, the low point for new residential construction spending was 2010, when just over $249 billion was spent.³
  • D.R. Horton is the largest U.S. residential homebuilder, with roughly $28 billion in revenue in 2021.
  • Not far behind D.R. Horton is Lennar, which had about $25 billion in revenue in 2021.
  • The average size of a new construction home in 2021 was 2,485 square feet.
  • The average size of a new residential home grew 20% from 1990 (2,065 square feet) to 2021.
  • As of April 2023, 929,000 employees work in the residential building construction labor force.

Our Conclusion

Recent statistics surrounding new home construction in the U.S. paint a picture of the recent macroeconomic effects on new homebuilding and the overall inventory of homes on the market. Although we’ve seen year-over-year declines in homebuilding starts and home sales through early 2023, the outlook is still positive. New homebuilders are increasingly confident, with the majority viewing conditions as “good,” according to newly released data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).


Sources

  1. “Monthly New Residential Construction, March 2023.” U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Released April 18, 2023. https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/pdf/newresconst_202303.pdf 
  2. “Monthly New Residential Sales, March 2023.” U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Released April 25, 2023. https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales_202303.pdf 
  3. “Residential construction put in place in the U.S. 2005-2021, with forecasts to 2026.” Statista. April 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/226482/projected-value-of-total-us-residential-construction/
  4. “Leading home builders in the U.S. 2021, by revenue.” Statista. August 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/199304/leading-us-homebuilding-companies-based-on-revenue/
  5. “Size of floor area in new single-family homes in the U.S. 1975-2021.” Statista. 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/529371/floor-area-size-new-single-family-homes-usa/
  6. “All Employees, Residential Building Construction.” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Economic Research. Updated May 5, 2023. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CES2023610001

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