America’s home builders closely follow the preferences of today’s home buyers to ensure they enjoy their new homes. For example, builders responded at the height of the pandemic by adding square footage in new homes since people were spending more time at home. Now the trend is shifting, partly due to housing affordability factors.
Here are a few notable trends in the residential construction industry based on recent U.S. Census Bureau data analyzed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Home Size is Trending Lower. An expected impact of the pandemic was a need for more residential space, as people use homes for more purposes, including work. The housing boom after covid led to a rise in new single-family home size. However, this trend appears to be reversing due to housing market conditions, namely affordability. According to 2022 third-quarter U.S. Census data and NAHB analysis, the median single-family square floor area declined to 2,276 square feet, compared to 2,326 in the third quarter of 2021.
New Homes Have More Bedrooms and Bathrooms. According to the most recent data available, only a small percentage of new single-family homes have two bedrooms or less (9.2%), while nearly half (44%) of new homes had three bedrooms and more than a third (36%) had four bedrooms. Moreover, 2021 marked the second year that the share of four-bedroom homes increased.
In addition, a majority (62%) of new single-family homes have two full bathrooms. According to an NAHB analysis, since 2005, most new homes tend to have two full bathrooms. And it is no surprise that an overwhelming majority (93%) of homes that were 5,000 square feet or more had three or more full bathrooms.
Patios are Preferred to Decks. Home owners treasure their outdoor space. For the sixth consecutive year, 2021 showed that the share of new homes with patios increased. In contrast, the share of new homes with decks is trending in the opposite direction. However, decks remain relatively popular in certain parts of the country, according to NAHB. For example, more than half (60%) of new homes in New England came with decks in 2021.
Interest in Two-story Foyers Declines. In 2021, most new single-family homes were built without a two-story foyer nationally and regionally. According to the Census Bureau, a two-story foyer is an entranceway inside a house’s front door and has a ceiling at the second-floor ceiling level. In the United States, the share of new homes with two-story foyers fell from 29% to 25% in 2021, the lowest level in the last five years. A two-story foyer has been an unwanted feature for many home buyers since 2012, as many consider two-story foyers energy inefficient.