Census Bureau Releases Annual 2012 Characteristics of New Housing

Americans have stopped a downsizing trend and are building larger homes again.

Palm Coast, FL – June 4, 2013 – The U.S. Census Bureau released yesterday its 2012 Characteristics of New Housing data.


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.

Of the 245,000 multifamily units started in 2012, 17,000 were age-restricted.

Of the 166,000 multifamily units completed in 2012:

  • 16,000 were age-restricted.
  • 99,000 were heated with electricity and 65,000 were heated with gas.
  • 79,000 had two or more bathrooms.
  • 60,000 had one bedroom and 28,000 had three or more bedrooms.

The average square footage of multifamily units built for sale was 1,626.

Of the 9,000 multifamily buildings completed in 2012:

  • 8,000 had three or fewer floors.
  • 6,000 used electricity as the primary heating fuel.

Of the 368,000 single-family homes sold in 2012:

  • 110,000 used vinyl siding as the principle type of exterior wall material, while only 11,000 used wood.
  • 259,000 had 2-car garages, whereas 76,000 had garages for three cars or more.
  • 176,000 had one fireplace and 19,000 had two or more fireplaces.

The average sales price of new single-family homes sold was $292,200, compared with the average price of $267,900 in 2011.

The average price per square foot for new single-family homes sold was $86.30. Regionally, the Northeast had the highest average price at $122.60 per square foot.

The average new single-family home sold was built on a lot of 15,634 square feet.

82,000 contractor-built single-family houses were started in 2012.

The average contract price was $270,500.

Note: the estimates shown here are based on sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as non-sampling error.

1 reply
  1. Bob
    Bob says:

    Not all Americans are buying homes

    I do not believe that this is a trend as the AVERAGE American is not buying a home and this is mostly reflective of the middle to upper class being the primary purchasers of homes.

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