Monday, September 10, 2007
Square Feet and Hedonics
Highlights of Annual 2006 Characteristics of New Housing
Please note that the estimates shown here are based on sample surveys and subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error.
· The average single-family house completed had 2,469 square feet, 769 more square feet than in 1976.
· 78% of all new single-family homes completed were speculatively-built (house and land are sold together as part of the same transaction), up from 65% in 1986.
· 39% of new single-family homes completed have four or more bedrooms, almost double the rate of just 20 years ago.
· 26% of new single-family homes sold have 3 or more bathrooms, almost triple the rate from 1986.
· Half of all single-family homes were completed in the South region, up 10 percentage points from 1976.
· Approximately 90% of all single-family homes completed have air conditioning!
· Approximately 95% of new single-family homes sold have at least a 1-car garage or carport.
· In the Northeast and Midwest (75%) of the homes completed have a basement, but in the West only 20% have a basement and that drops to 10% in the South.
· Across the country, over half (53%) of all single-family homes sold have at least 1 fireplace.
· 25% of new single-family homes completed have a deck, down from 34% in 1996.
· Almost 70% of all new single-family homes sold use gas as the primary source of heating fuel and approximately 30% use electricity as the primary source.
· Attached single-family homes account for nearly 15% of all new single-family homes sold, up from 11% in 1996.
· Currently vinyl siding is the most common principal exterior material at 30% of new single-family homes sold. In 1996 wood was 22% of the share. It has now reduced to 5% in 2006. Regionally the exterior wall material of preference is: Vinyl - Northeast (86%), and Midwest (67%); Brick - South (41%) and Stucco - West (62%).
· The average sales price of new single-family homes sold (including land) was $305,900. In 1996, the average sales price was $166,400. This is an increase of over 84%!
· The average price per square foot for new single-family homes sold was $91.99, up from $64.38 in 1996. Regionally, it is most expensive to build in the West at $120.66 and least expensive to build in the South at $80.32.
· Over a tenth (12%) of all new single-family homes sold were built on lots of at least 22,000 square feet (approximately a half an acre); this is virtually unchanged from 1986 and 1996.
Historical Census of Housing Tables
In 1990, only 1 percent of our homes lacked complete plumbing facilities. But, things were much different in 1940, when nearly half lacked complete plumbing. Then, about ten States had rates approaching or exceeding 70 percent. In succeeding decades, the proportion of homes lacking complete plumbing dropped dramatically, falling to about one-third in 1950 and one- sixth in 1960. It is interesting to note the States with the lowest percent- age of such homes in 1940 were higher than Alaska, which topped the 1990 list.
Complete plumbing facilities are defined as hot and cold piped water, a bath- tub or shower, and a flush toilet. In earlier censuses, these facilities must have been for exclusive use of a housing unit's inhabitants; this requirement was dropped in 1990.
This is not exactly scientific as it compounds too many factors and makes assumptions about the distribution of housing stock age but it seems that adjusting for true inflation and hedonics does a lot to explain the "hockey stick."