When it comes to home ownership, some buyers prefer towns steeped in history, and given the opportunity, they’d choose to restore a historic home back to its former glory.
Historic preservation is a way to maintain a city’s uniqueness and show its story. While it’s a popular concept for many cities, there are many places where some may feel differently. For instance, in Japan, homes are often demolished every 30 years. In America, residents in Austin, Texas are also less likely to find historic homes: The city had the highest percentage of new houses—those built after 2014—in this data set.
For those looking for the charm of historic residences, New Jersey Real Estate Network collected Census Bureau data to find which metro regions have the most number of old homes. There are 23,842,900 houses built before 1949 in the U.S., which make up about 17% of all housing units.
Some cities on this list date back to colonial times. Other locales boomed as industry and railway transportation expanded. But in many smaller towns, people relocated after the steel, mining, textile, and railroad industries collapsed, greatly reducing demand for new construction.
The data in this ranking is from the Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey. Metros are ranked based on the percentage of total housing units in the region that were built in 1949 or earlier. The percentages displayed are rounded.