The terraced house has housed different parts of the social spectrum in western society. Originally associated with the working class, in modern times, historical and reproduction terraces have been widely associated with the process of gentrification.
Terrace housing can be found throughout the world, though is in abundance in parts of Europe and extensive examples can be found in some cities in North America and Oceania.
The terrace as a building style originated in Great Britain. In many cities terraced housing was favored over the apartment building.
The practice of homes built uniformly to the property line began in the 16th Century and became known as 'row' houses. 'Yarmouth Rows' in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk is an example where applied to a narrow street where the building fronts uniformly ran right to the property line.
The term terrace was borrowed from garden terraces by British architects of the late Georgian period to describe streets of houses whose uniform fronts and uniform height created an ensemble that was more stylish than a "row".
Townhouses or townhomes are generally described as being two to three storey structures which share a wall with a neighboring unit. As opposed to an apartment building, townhouses do not have neighboring units above or below them. They are similar in concept to row houses or terraced houses, except they are usually are divided into smaller groupings of homes.