New housing growth in Keene has been substantially slower than both the county and the state. Between 2000 and 2008, New Hampshire has undergone an 8.5% increase in housing units (Table 6). During this same period, the total number of units in Cheshire County has increased by 5.9%. In comparison, Keene had only a 2.1% increase over eight years.
Of the 9,493 housing units existing in 2008, 52.3% were owner-occupied, 39.8% were renter-occupied and 7.9% were vacant. The average household size is 2.54 people in owner-occupied units and 2.19 in renter-occupied units (U.S. Census Bureau 2006-2008 American Community Survey Selected Housing Characteristics).
Statewide, the median gross rent in 2008 is $919/month (Table 7). The median gross rent for Keene is $915/month while Cheshire County’s median gross rent is $882/month. While Keene’s rents increased at a higher rate than the state, Cheshire County’s increased the most at 48%.
Today, the City of Keene has an estimated 9,500 housing units (U.S. Census, 2007). Slightly over half of these homes are single-family detached houses; the remainder consists of attached/multi-family housing or mobile homes (Table 8). More than 90% of all of the homes were built prior to 1980, and more than one-third were built before 1940 (Table 9).