Trends in Residential Real Estate Development

This page provides statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau Building Permits Survey. The data collected in this survey is meant to provide the public with data and information on new residential construction projects at local, state, and national levels.

New Privately-Owned Housing Units by Size

Since bottoming out in 2009, new residential real estate development has more than doubled. The largest increases have come from construction of multi-unit residential structures with five or more units. In 2009, these projects represented just 21 percent of all new construction. By 2017, that number climbed to 33 percent.

New Building Permits by State


In 2017, ten states were responsible for more than 50 percent of the nation’s total new residential construction. Those states were Texas, Florida, California, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, New York, and Tennessee. While many of these are also of the top ten most populous states, Arizona, Colorado, and Tennessee are not.


On a per capita basis, construction trends were different. Colorado, North Carolina, and Texas are notable for having both the most new construction overall and on a per capita basis. On the other hand, a handful of the nation’s most populous states–Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan–showed some of the lowest rates of new residential construction. Looking at total new housing construction rates, the following states and the District of Columbia stand out.

Year-Over-Year Changes by State


Across the nation, there was a 6.2 percent increase in the number of new residential housing units for 2017. However, these changes vary widely by state. Comparing 2017 to 2016, residential construction in Washington, D.C. increased by nearly 30 percent. In Connecticut, there was a 17.4 percent decline.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2017 Annual Building Permits Survey

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