Is there a massive oversupply of houses in USA?

Pardon me for over-simplification:

Assuming 3.2 people stay in 1 house, for 320 million population, it would require 100 million houses. Let us assume 80% occupancy (20% extra houses that are empty). It means 100*100/80 =125 million are the number of houses that the country needs.

Housing starts are at over 1 million per month -

Let us say 1*12=12 million new houses per year are being made in USA.

So that means the system assumes life span of a house is just abt (125/12=) 10 years.

Housing starts are seasonally adjusted annual numbers, not monthly numbers:


Thanks. The numbers make perfect sense now.


It is actually closer to 90% -

When I mistook the yearly house supply data as monthly data, the oversupply seemed too big. So I took 80% or less occupancy for calculation w/o actually looking up for occupancy data.

You are asking for a cite for a sentence that begins with “Let us assume”? :dubious:

And also the household size is 2.6, not 3.2 -

:dubious: Yes. Is there any evidence backing up the assumption?

I remember when the 2008 recession hit and a lot of people moved in with their parents, the result was a lot of people who would have their own household were sharing one with relatives. I wondered how that would affect housing prices.

I think there are something like 124 million ‘households’ in the US. I’m not sure about the number that are vacant above that number, but if people are forced to get roommates or live with family then the number of vacant households should increase.

However houses are torn down just as they are built up, but I am not sure at what rate.

It depends upon the area.

This. Housing markets are generally local so it’s typically not useful to ask if there is an over or undersupply in the entire country. A surplus of homes in Arizona doesn’t do me any good in New York.

I’m not sure how any of these numbers would lead one to conclude that there’s a meaningful surplus of housing in the US. Abandoned houses available for cheap in Detroit don’t affect the ultra expensive housing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, or New York City, don’t help the guy looking for a place to live with a reasonable commute to his job in Kalamazoo, and aren’t an option for the rich guy looking for a beach house.