Households Increase Faster Than Housing Units

December 1, 2001

From 1990 to 2000 the Washington area added 218,000 households, but housing increased by only 205,000 units. The result was a vacancy rate that went down from 6.3 percent in 1990 to 4.7 percent in 2000 and left people scrambling for housing, especially in the Virginia suburbs. This drop in vacant units contributed to the hot real estate market that caused real estate values to increase sharply in the late 1990s.