U.S. now has over one million ADUs

Across the country, accessory dwelling units (ADUs)—also referred to as in-law suites, garage apartments, or guest quarters—are on the rise, especially in high-cost areas.1 Check out the numbers from a recent Freddie Mac study:

  • From 2000 to 2019, the percentage of for-sale listings containing ADUs increased from 1.6% to 6.8%.
  • The passing of ordinances to reduce restrictive zoning laws have ADUs sprouting up mostly in the south and west regions. California, Florida, Texas, and Georgia account for half of the nation’s 1.4 million ADUs.
  • Detached ADUs (garden suites or guest cottages) are more prevalent in western cities with large lots. Attached ADUs (finished basements or spaces above attached garages) can be found in older, denser cities along the east coast.

The Freddie Mac study also stated that ADUs are helping to fill the gaps in long-term affordable rentals. It will be interesting to see if ADUs continue to impact the housing market in the years ahead.

1“Granny flats, garage apartments, in-law suites: Identifying accessory dwelling units from real estate listing descriptions using text mining,” Freddie Mac, last updated July 16, 2020.

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