Teardowns Expected to Increase

As housing inventory remains low, more Americans are tearing down existing homes and building bigger ones in their place, reports MarketWatch staffer Amy Hoak.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, of all single-family home starts in 2015, about 7.7%, or 55,000, were tear-downs, and that share could grow in the future.

Since we expect single-family starts to grow, and a shortage of lots is a widespread problem, tear-down starts should increase as well,” said Paul Emrath, vice president for survey and housing policy research for the NAHB.

Tear-downs became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but largely waned when the housing market crashed about a decade ago. “As the real estate market has picked up around the country, we are seeing it return,” said Jim Lindberg, Denver-based senior director of the National Trust’s Preservation Green Lab.