The Census Bureau recently introduced a new on-line interactive graphic which interprets annual data from the Bureau's Survey of Construction.  The graphic pictures, logically enough, a house, partially cut away to show the interior and revealing components typical of a newly constructed American home.

Two categories of data are available from the graphic - information on newly constructed homes and on newly constructed homes that have sold.  Historical data on each goes back to 1999.  In addition to information on the country as a whole, breakdowns are provided for the four regions. 



The variety of information available and the combination of conclusions that can be derived are nearly endless.  By clicking on square footage, for example, one can find that of the 589,000 new homes completed in 2013, 13,000 or 8 percent contained less than 1,400 square feet.  One can also learn this is the smallest percentage of homes of that size completed since at least 1999.  At the same time there were 56,000 homes or 10 percent that were built containing more than 4,000 square feet.  The most popular size chosen by builders was 1800 to 2,399 square feet; 154,000 homes or 27 percent of the total were built within that footprint and the average size of all new homes build was 2,598 square feet.

Homes sold were a different matter.  Of the total of 429,000 new homes sold, 9 percent were in the mini-mansion category but only 4 percent were under 1,400 square feet.  Seventy-three percent of buyers opted for houses of 1,800 to 3,999 square feet but these comprised only 66 percent of those built.

While only 5 percent of home built nationally had fewer than 2 full baths, there were several regional distinctions.  Only 1 percent of homes in the West had 1-1/2 or fewer baths but 12 percent of those in the Midwest did.  The South was the most bathroom indulged with 36 percent of new homes containing three or more.

Visitors to the graphic can also find out about the prevalence of air conditioning (518,000 out of 569,000 homes completed), that 59,000 homes had two or fewer bedrooms while 251,000 had four or more.  The average sales price of new single-family homes sold was $324,500, or $93.70 per square foot, compared with the average price of $292,200 in 2012.  Information is also available on HVAC and electrical systems, foundation type, and other construction details.

Available elsewhere on the site is information from the Construction Survey on the 307,000 multi-family units started and the 195,000 units completed in 2013.  For example, of the units started 23,000 were age-restricted as were 14,000 of those completed.  Of those completed, 79,000 had one bedroom, 27,000 had three or more, and 91,000 had two or more bathrooms.  The average square footage of units built to be rented was 1,082.

The interactive graphic and highlights of the Census Bureau Construction Survey can be accessed here.