Texas: Housing Juggernaut

The Lone Star State continues to dominate when it comes to new home construction.

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Despite all the obvious turmoil in the industry in recent years, new housing construction is soldiering on in the U.S. And according to new estimates out from the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas is still kicking every other state's housing-related butts.

Between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011, the U.S. saw an estimated increase of about 607,000 housing units. At the state level, Texas added more than 121,000 housing units, three times as many as its closest competitor, California, and about 20 percent of the total. Only two states saw their housing units go down: Michigan by 6,752 and West Virginia by 170.

Of the 100 counties with the highest rate of growth in new housing, fully one-fifth are in Texas.

In terms of raw numbers, the top five biggest gainers are all in Texas. Fort Bend County leads that pack, with 11,665 new homes added, bringing its total to an estimated 208,696. That's a growth rate of 5.9 percent for this county to the southwest of Houston, the second highest rate.

The population has been skyrocketing in Fort Bend since the 1970s. Its 2010 population was 585,375 according to the U.S. Census, up from a 2000 population of 384,452 and a 1970 population of 52,314. So it should be no surprise that as part of greater Houston, Fort Bend County was part of the fastest growing metro area in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010.

Many but not most of the other counties on this list are like Fort Bend County, in that they're on the outskirts of large or semi-large cities, including Little Rock, Savannah, Austin, Anchorage, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Des Moines, Washington D.C., Indianapolis and Omaha.

Only one of the counties in this top 100 list lies inside a major city: Orleans Parish, also known as the city of New Orleans. The city saw its housing stock grow by 4,242 units in this year-and-three-month period, to a total of 194,138.

 

County

Units on April 1, 2010

Units on July 1, 2011

Amount of change

Rate of change

1

Long County, GA

6,030

6,412

382

6.3

2

Fort Bend County, TX

197,031

208,696

11,665

5.9

3

Sumter County, FL

53,026

55,988

2,962

5.6

4

Rockwall County, TX

27,939

29,306

1,367

4.9

5

Matanuska-Susitna Borough, AK

41,329

43,242

1,913

4.6

6

Taney County, MO

29,255

30,605

1,350

4.6

7

Madison County, MT

6,940

7,253

313

4.5

8

Lincoln County, SD

17,875

18,665

790

4.4

9

McIntosh County, GA

9,220

9,615

395

4.3

10

Lamar County, MS

24,070

25,083

1,013

4.2

11

Campbell County, WY

18,955

19,743

788

4.2

12

Telfair County, GA

7,297

7,597

300

4.1

13

Hays County, TX

59,416

61,821

2,405

4.0

14

White County, GA

16,062

16,685

623

3.9

15

Dooly County, GA

6,328

6,573

245

3.9

16

Hancock County, MS

21,840

22,658

818

3.7

17

Faulkner County, AR

46,612

48,325

1,713

3.7

18

Wilson County, TX

16,765

17,377

612

3.7

19

Guadalupe County, TX

50,015

51,815

1,800

3.6

20

Hoke County, NC

18,211

18,858

647

3.6

21

Williamson County, TX

162,773

168,515

5,742

3.5

22

Columbia County, GA

48,626

50,331

1,705

3.5

23

Blanco County, TX

5,532

5,725

193

3.5

24

Parker County, TX

46,628

48,241

1,613

3.5

25

Sevier County, TN

55,917

57,804

1,887

3.4

26

Sublette County, WY

5,770

5,963

193

3.3

27

Summit County, UT

26,544

27,407

863

3.3

28

Nye County, NV

22,350

23,068

718

3.2

29

Onslow County, NC

68,226

70,366

2,140

3.1

30

Denton County, TX

256,139

264,071

7,932

3.1

31

Harrison County, MS

85,181

87,773

2,592

3.0

32

Limestone County, AL

34,977

36,019

1,042

3.0

33

Hood County, TX

24,951

25,694

743

3.0

34

Fredericksburg city, VA

10,467

10,777

310

3.0

35

Dallas County, IA

27,260

28,065

805

3.0

36

Franklin County, WA

24,423

25,120

697

2.9

37

Livingston Parish, LA

50,195

51,607

1,412

2.8

38

Kane County, UT

5,815

5,978

163

2.8

39

Sweetwater County, WY

18,735

19,258

523

2.8

40

Sequatchie County, TN

6,368

6,545

177

2.8

41

Montgomery County, TX

177,650

182,513

4,863

2.7

42

San Juan County, WA

13,313

13,671

358

2.7

43

Duchesne County, UT

9,493

9,745

252

2.7

44

Scott County, KY

19,303

19,813

510

2.6

45

Bell County, TX

125,470

128,777

3,307

2.6

46

Kaufman County, TX

38,323

39,320

997

2.6

47

Sanders County, MT

6,678

6,850

172

2.6

48

Brookings County, SD

13,137

13,472

335

2.6

49

Stone County, MS

7,161

7,343

182

2.5

50

Harrisonburg city, VA

17,444

17,887

443

2.5

51

Dorchester County, SC

55,186

56,576

1,390

2.5

52

Loudoun County, VA

109,442

112,189

2,747

2.5

53

Flathead County, MT

46,963

48,141

1,178

2.5

54

Hamilton County, IN

106,772

109,440

2,668

2.5

55

Sanpete County, UT

10,379

10,637

258

2.5

56

Berkeley County, SC

73,372

75,194

1,822

2.5

57

Watauga County, NC

32,137

32,932

795

2.5

58

Kendall County, IL

40,321

41,308

987

2.4

59

Bonner County, ID

24,669

25,269

600

2.4

60

Williams County, ND

10,464

10,717

253

2.4

61

Lyon County, NV

22,547

23,090

543

2.4

62

Lincoln County, MO

21,011

21,513

502

2.4

63

Cass County, ND

67,938

69,560

1,622

2.4

64

Kenai Peninsula Borough, AK

30,578

31,308

730

2.4

65

Camden County, GA

21,114

21,616

502

2.4

66

Pulaski County, GA

5,147

5,269

122

2.4

67

Austin County, TX

12,928

13,233

305

2.4

68

Logan County, OK

17,195

17,598

403

2.3

69

Ascension Parish, LA

40,757

41,702

945

2.3

70

Fairbanks North Star Borough, AK

41,783

42,740

957

2.3

71

Chambers County, TX

13,291

13,593

302

2.3

72

Fayette County, TX

13,868

14,183

315

2.3

73

Lancaster County, SC

32,687

33,429

742

2.3

74

Gillespie County, TX

12,780

13,070

290

2.3

75

Sarpy County, NE

61,938

63,343

1,405

2.3

76

Lafayette County, MS

22,730

23,242

512

2.3

77

Orleans Parish, LA

189,896

194,138

4,242

2.2

78

York County, SC

94,196

96,281

2,085

2.2

79

Geary County, KS

14,517

14,837

320

2.2

80

Lincoln County, MT

11,413

11,663

250

2.2

81

Benton County, AR

93,084

95,116

2,032

2.2

82

Liberty County, GA

26,740

27,323

583

2.2

83

Montgomery County, TN

70,099

71,622

1,523

2.2

84

Riley County, KS

28,212

28,820

608

2.2

85

Lexington County, SC

113,958

116,403

2,445

2.1

86

Collin County, TX

300,960

307,353

6,393

2.1

87

Jefferson County, MT

5,055

5,162

107

2.1

88

Brown County, IN

8,285

8,460

175

2.1

89

Brantley County, GA

8,085

8,252

167

2.1

90

Saline County, AR

44,812

45,737

925

2.1

91

Bossier Parish, LA

49,351

50,369

1,018

2.1

92

Pinal County, AZ

159,222

162,504

3,282

2.1

93

Valley County, ID

11,788

12,028

240

2.0

94

Cumberland County, TN

28,151

28,721

570

2.0

95

Duplin County, NC

25,728

26,248

520

2.0

96

Madison County, AL

146,447

149,385

2,938

2.0

97

Bastrop County, TX

29,315

29,895

580

2.0

98

Canadian County, OK

45,810

46,715

905

2.0

99

Maverick County, TX

17,462

17,802

340

1.9

100

Comanche County, OK

50,739

51,726

987

1.9

 

Top image: SoleilC/Shutterstock.com

About the Author

  • Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.