Fastest-growing housing markets

These counties added housing at the fastest rates in the United States last year.

By Keisha Lamothe, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Pinal County, Ariz., was the fastest-growing housing market in the nation last year, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday.

Housing units in the Arizona county, part of the Phoenix metro area, jumped by 16.6 percent, or 18,000, in the 12 months ended July 1, 2006.

Hottest housing markets
The top 10 U.S. counties ranked by housing growth rate
County State Percent Increase
Pinal AZ 16.6
Sumter FL 13.6
Kendall IL 9.7
Lee FL 9.1
Flagler FL 9.0
Culpeper VA 9.0
Pearl River MS 9.0
Rockwall TX 8.6
Dallas IA 8.4
Forsyth GA 7.8
Source:U.S. Census Bureau

Three of the top five fastest-growing counties were in Florida, with second-place Sumter, fourth-place Lee, and Flagler County, which had the highest growth rate in the past two years.

Pinal County's neighbor, Maricopa County, added the most housing units, with an increase of 43,000. Placing second was Harris County (Houston), Texas, which added 39,000 units, followed by Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada, with 38,000.

Out of all counties, two Louisiana parishes lost more than half of their homes, due to the destruction by Hurricane Katrina. Orleans Parish, Louisiana, lost 107,000 units, the largest decline in housing units last year, while St. Bernard Parish had the highest rate of decline, losing 76.2 percent of its homes. (Latest home prices - 149 markets tracked)

At the state level, Florida added the highest number of homes (273,000), followed by Texas (198,000) and California (181,000). Among the states with the fastest growth rate, four out of five states are in the West: Nevada (4.5 percent), Arizona (3.5 percent), Idaho (3.4 percent), Florida (3.3 percent) and Utah (3.1 percent).

Louisiana was the only state with a drop in housing units, falling by 11,000, or 5.7 percent.

Overall, there were 126.3 million housing units in the United States last year, a 1.4 percent increase from a year earlier. Top of page