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Single-family construction: Larger homes the trend


As single-family home construction continues to rise with an almost 18 percent increase last year, the trend in homebuilding appears to be bigger homes – two-story more often than not – with more bedrooms, more bathrooms and larger garages.

home construction

Of the 569,000-plus single-family homes built in the United States last year, nearly 54 percent were two-story. One-third of them had three bathrooms or more, and 44 percent had four bedrooms or more, according to the Annual 2013 Characteristics of New Housing report by the U.S. Census Bureau, based on building permits from 900 markets around the nation.

The median square footage of homes built in 2013 was 2,384 square feet, the largest ever. That square footage number compares to a national median 1,525 sq. ft. in 1973; 1,905 in 1990; 2,227 in 2005; and 2,135 in 2009.

The trend toward larger homes is due, in part, to multigenerational home purchases as older children move back home and Generation X and younger Baby Boomers take care of their parents. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors showed that 22 percent of younger Baby Boomers, age 50 to 59, purchased multigenerational homes.

The homebuilding trends are interesting – some aspects have changed dramatically, while a few have stayed pretty much the same.

Overall, the number of single-family homes built annually in the United States has increased by more than 27 percent since the lowest level in decades was recorded in 2011 when approximately 447,000 new homes were built. The highest number of homes constructed in a year took place in 2006, when 1.65 million new homes were built.

Of the 429,000 newly built homes sold in 2013, the average sales price was $324,000 compared to $292,000 in 2012.

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