New Neighbors on the Way?

Dr. Jeffrey Walters
Dairy Newsletter Editor

According to data from the American Housing Survey, the United States faces an unprecedented rate of conversion of land to residential purposes over the next 25 years. Not only will the number of houses built exceed that in any other comparable period in our nation�s history, but larger average lot sizes per dwelling may further increase the amount of land involved. It was noted that between 1985 and 2001 nearly 40% of new housing units were built on lots larger than one acre. There is a possibility, however, that increased infrastructure costs, commuting times, and energy prices could turn this trend around. By current estimates more than 100 billion square feet (23,000,000 acres) of land not presently in housing will be required for the expected residential growth by 2030.

Nationwide the greatest level of housing growth on a percentage basis will probably occur in the Intermountain West. By 2030 it is expected that states in this region will account for four out of the five top positions with increases in housing units above those existing in 2000 amounting to 111.7% in Nevada, 95.3% in Arizona, 91.5% in Utah, and 73.9% in Idaho. The only state outside the region to break into the top 5 ranking will be Florida with an increases of 74.9%. ©