Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Lawler: Single Family Homes Built/Sold in 2012: “Back to Bigger,” But on Very Low Volumes

by Bill McBride on 6/04/2013 02:48:00 PM

Census released its estimates for the characteristics of single-family homes completed and sold in 2012.

CR Note: from the release:

Of the 483,000 single-family homes completed in 2012:

• 432,000 had air-conditioning.
• 63,000 had two or fewer bedrooms and 198,000 had four bedrooms or more.
• 34,000 had one and one-half bathrooms or less, whereas 145,000 homes had three or more bathrooms.
• 142,000 had a full or partial basement, while 78,000 had a crawl space, and 263,000 had a slab or other type of foundation.
• 266,000 had two or more stories.
• 278,000 had a warm-air furnace and 183,000 had a heat pump as the primary heating system.
• 285,000 heating systems were powered by gas and 189,000 were powered by electricity.

The average single-family house completed was 2,505 square feet.
From Lawler: Here is a chart showing the % of SF homes completed with square feet of floor area of 3,000 or more.

Lawler New Homes
Click on graph for larger image.

There has been a long-term upward trend in the average and median square footage of SF homes built in the US, though “size” has had a bit of a cyclical component as well – generally rising more rapidly during strong markets, and more slowly during “soft” markets. The “dip” in 2009-10 may also have reflected a temporary increase in building targeted at first-time home buyers related to the home buyer tax credits, while the recent rebound reflects the post-tax-credit weakness in first-time home buyer demand.

Of course, the recent increase in the share of “large” SF homes built has been on very low overall volumes.

Lawler New Homes

Census also released estimates of the characteristics of new SF homes sold (total SF completions include not just homes built for sale, but also owner- and contractor-built homes, as well as a small number of SF homes built for rent. These characteristics reflect SF homes sold based on contract signing/earnest money exchange, and not completions, and the square footage data only go back to 1999.

Lawler New Homes

Here is a chart showing the % of new SF homes sold that had four or more bedrooms, with data going back to 1978.

Lawler New Homes

And here is a chart showing the number of new SF homes sold with four or more bedrooms.

Lawler New Homes