10. Age of Housing Stock and Geographic Distribution

10. Age of Housing Stock and Geographic Distribution
The age of a community’s housing stock can provide an indication about the condition, quality and safety of the housing units. Older units may have been constructed to standards, from the perspective of building codes and life safety requirements, that may not be as demanding especially in regard to multi-family units. As indicated in Table 3-9, approximately 75% of Conway’s housing stock could be considered relatively new having been constructed over the past 40 years (since 1960). Approximately 8% of the housing stock was constructed between 1940 and 1960, with the remaining 18% being constructed before 1940. It should be noted that in order to determine the age of housing units within Conway’s housing stock, the Assessor’s database for the date of construction (year built) of all residential dwellings was tabulated. As such, reliable year built data was only available for a portion of Conway’s housing stock namely single family homes, multifamily homes and condominium
units. Year built data was not available for mobile homes (both in parks and on individual lots) and was therefore omitted from the analysis.
As shown in Table 3-9, approximately one out of every three housing units in Conway was constructed during the 1980s – which coincides with the large influx of residents during the same time period.
Based on year built data obtained from the town’s assessment records, the location of new home construction in Conway has been mapped (Map 3-1) which illustrates how residential development patterns have evolved over time. Between 1940 and 1969, most of the residential development occurred within a combination of small subdivisions (near Trout Pond for example) and numerous sporadic isolated lots – many of which are waterfront parcels on Conway Lake.
The residential development patterns during the 1970s shifted into larger subdivisions, primarily located off of secondary roads, including the areas near Woodland Grove, Thorn Street, Birch Hill, Echo Lake, and Old Mill Road.
The building boom of the 1980s brought about the continued development of existing subdivisions (Birch Hill and along the Saco River) as well as the development of smaller concentrated residential areas (near Pequawket Pond and Weston Way). Additionally, new residential growth, primarily single family homes on large lots, started to spread into the less developed areas of Conway.
Residential growth in the 1990s continued with the build-out of existing subdivisions (Birch Hill) as well as sporadic small subdivision developments (Cranmore Brook area). The most notable residential development pattern exhibited in the 1990s was the continued development of very large remote parcels outside of the traditional urban areas (southeastern part of Conway).