The growth in the average size of a new
home paused briefly at the beginning of the recession as Americans retrenched
in a lot of ways, but times have changed. According to Census Bureau data presented at the
National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) International Builder's Show earlier
in the month, the average home size has increased by over 300 square feet since
2009, from 2,362 square feet in 2009 to 2,679 square feet in 2013.
Things have changed within that square footage
as well. New homes have more bedrooms,
more bathrooms, and more amenities than they did in 2009.
percent of homes built in 2013 had four bedrooms; 34 percent had that many in
percentage of homes with three or more full baths has gone from 23 percent in
2010 to 35 percent in 2013.
percent had three-car (or more) garage bays compared to 16 percent in 2010.
homes have gone from a slight majority - 51 percent of new homes - in 2009 to
60 percent in 2013.
Amenities most likely to be found in new
single-family homes built today are a walk-in closet in the master bedroom,
low-e windows, a laundry room and a great room.
Granite countertops, double sinks and a central island are kitchen
features favored by many builders as are nine-foot or higher ceilings, a front
porch, exterior lighting, and a patio.
Energy-Star rated appliances and windows are also featured in many
As homes get bigger, so does the average
sales price, rising from $248,000 in 2009 to $318,000 in 2013. Consequently,
according to Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president for survey research, "It
requires a high credit score and a nice income to qualify for a mortgage."
Quint said that the spread between the
average Experian credit score of all U.S. consumers and the average home
borrower's score has risen from 33 points in the early 2000s to 58 points in
2013. The median income of new-home
buyers has climbed as well, from $91,768 in 2005 to $107,607 in 2011.
During the same
period, the number of new-home sales has dramatically declined, from 1.28
million to 306,000. "There are not as many people who have the income that
can qualify for a new home," said Quint.