New homes got bigger last year
After shrinking for four years, the size of the average new home completed in 2011 rose to 2,480 square feet. The average price fell again.
Houses are getting bigger.
The average size of a new home completed in 2011 was 2,480 square feet, up from 2,392 square feet in 2010, a new census report shows.
In 1973, the earliest year represented in the report, the average new home had 1,660 square feet. That number increased steadily, to 2,521 in 2007, then had fallen each year until 2011.
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The average new home was built on a 16,663-square-foot lot. In metro areas, the average lot size was 15,616 square feet, still large. Outside metro areas, the average lot was 28,768 square feet.
The average sale price of a new single-family homes sold was $267,900. That's down from $272,900 in 2010, $270,900 in 2009 and $292,600 in 2008. The average price per square foot was $83.38, with the lowest price, $76.73, in the South and the highest price, $111.37, in the Northeast.
The average size of multifamily units built for sale (read condos and co-ops) was 1,408 square feet. Of those units, 44% had one bath and 53% two or more baths.
Here are some other facts about new single-family homes completed in 2011, from the U.S. Census Bureau's Highlights of Annual 2011 Characteristics of New Housing:
- 33% had vinyl siding.
- 88% had air-conditioning, up from 49% in 1973. The percentage varied from 62% in the West to 99% in the South.
- 54% had two or more stories.
- 39% had four or more bedrooms. Of those, 57% had three or more bathrooms.
- 19% had a garage big enough to hold at least three cars.
Of the new single-family homes sold, 62% were financed by a conventional loan and 20% were financed by a Federal Housing Administration loan. The FHA proportion was down from 25% in 2010 and 24% in 2009.
You can find more detailed data here.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.