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5 New Homes And Multi-Family Units

5 New Homes And Multi-Family Units

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1,570 sq. ft.

1,890 sq. ft.

2,077 sq. ft.




2,255 sq. ft.

2,506 sq. ft.

2,467 sq. ft.

The median size of multifamily units built in 2015 for rent was 1,057 sq. ft., while

the median of those built for sale was 1,408 sq. ft.

Characteristics of new construction were as follows:

Single-Family Homes

• Four bedrooms or more:


• Two bedrooms or less:


Multi-Family Units

• In buildings with 50 units or more:

• Three or more bedrooms:

• Age-restricted:




Multi-Family Units

• Constructed using wood framing:

• One or two floors:



In 2015, 501,000 single-family homes sold. Characteristics were as follows:

453,000 were detached homes; 49,000 were attached homes

327,000 had a 2-car garage and 131,000 had a garage for 3 cars or more

200,000 had one story, 278,000 had two stories, and 24,000 had three or more

The median sales price of new single-family homes sold was $296,400 in 2015;

the average sales price was $360,600.

4.6 Housing Affordability

The traditional affordability standard suggests that housing costs should be no

more than 30% of household income. According to State of the Nation’s Housing 2016,

by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University (JCHS,

www.jchs.harvard.edu), the share of cost-burdened households (i.e., households

exceeding the affordability standard) is at 35.3%, down from a record 37.2% in 2010.

A full 28% of households are paying more than half their incomes for housing.

4.7 Vacation Homes

According to data by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 5.33 million vacation,

seasonal, or recreational homes in the United States. This represents 4.0% of the total

U.S. housing stock. The following states have the highest concentration of vacation



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New Hampshire:





No. Vacation Homes

Pct. of Total















According to the 2016 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, by the

National Association of Realtors (www.realtor.org), 920,000 vacation homes were sold

in 2015, down 18.5% from their most recent peak level of 1.13 million in 2014. The

median vacation home price in 2015 was $192,000, a 28% increase.

Vacation-home sales accounted for 16% of real estate sales transactions in


4.8 Home Improvement

New homeowners are the most “home-improvement happy.” According to

JCHS, even though they represent only 13% of all homeowners, they typically account

for 25% of home improvement spending. With home sales in decline, the home

improvement market suffered during the economic downturn.

Home improvement spending has been on the rise since 2011. The Home

Improvement Research Institute (www.hiri.org) assesses home improvement spending

as follows (change from previous year in parenthesis):

• 2013:

$289.7 billion (4.2%)

• 2014:

$308.5 billion (6.5%)

• 2015:

$330.2 billion (7.0%)

• 2016:

$346.8 billion (5.0%)

• 2017:

$363.4 billion (4.8%)

• 2018:

$377.6 billion (3.9%)

4.9 Market Resources

Characteristics Of New Housing, Census Bureau. (www.census.gov/construction/chars/)

Current Population Survey, Census Bureau, 2016. (www.census.gov/cps/)

Home Improvement Research Institute, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 575,

Tampa, FL 33610. (813) 627-6770. (www.hiri.org)

Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, Census Bureau.



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Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, 1033 Massachusetts Avenue,

Fifth Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138. (617) 495-7908. (www.jchs.harvard.edu)

State of the Nation’s Housing, Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University,

2016. (www.jchs.harvard.edu/research/state_nations_housing)


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5.1 Where People Live

Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, or metro and micro areas, are

geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget

(www.omb.gov) for use by federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and

publishing federal statistics. A metro area contains a core urban area population of

50,000 or more. A micro area contains a core urban area population of at least 10,000

but less than 50,000. Census 2010 reported the population distribution by core statistical

area as follows:

• Metropolitan Statistical Area:


• Micropolitan Statistical Area:


• Outside core area:


According to Current Population Survey, by the U.S. Census Bureau

(www.census.gov), households are distributed by type of community as follows:

• Inside principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas:

39.47 million (33% of total)

• Outside principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas:

59.79 million (50%)

• Outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas:

19.42 million (16%)

There are 19,508 cities; they comprise 3.5% of land area in the U.S. Population

Trends In Incorporated Areas, published in 2015 by the Census Bureau, reported that

62.7% of the U.S. population lives in a city.

5.2 Population Growth Trends

According to City and Town Totals, published in 2015 by the Census Bureau, the

population of the nation's 749 largest cities (incorporated places with populations of

50,000 or more) increased 4.3% between 2010 and 2014 while the remainder of the

United States grew by 2.4%.

Population growth between 2010-2014 by city size was as follows:

• 50,000 to 99,999:


• 100,000 to 149,999:


• 150,000 to 199,999:


• 200,000 to 249,999:


• 250,000 to 499,999:


• 500,000 to 999,999:


• 1 million or more:



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Among non-metropolitan areas of the U.S., two-thirds lost population between

2010 and 2014, according to a June 2015 report by the USDA's Economic Research

Service (www.ers.usda.gov). A total of 1,310 non-metro counties had a declining

population in the 2010-2014 time period. Population decline is caused by two factors:

more people moving out than in and the number of deaths exceeding births. Among the

1,301 shrinking counties, 622 experienced a population decline because of both factors.

Demo Memo (http://demomemo.blogspot.com) assesses that the largest

metropolitan areas, with a population of 1 million or more, grew 4.2% between 2010 and

2014. Smaller metropolitan areas grew 2.7%. Non-metropolitan counties as a whole lost

0.2% of their population during those years.

5.3 Most Desirable Places To Live

A survey by Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project

(www.pewsocialtrends.org) found that 46% of U.S. adults would rather live in a different

type of community from the one in which they are presently living. There was no

consensus, however, as to what is the ideal place to live. Survey participants responded

as follows about their ideal community:

• Small town:


• Suburb:


• City:


• Rural area:



“Most city dwellers think the grass would be

greener in a suburb, small town or rural area.

But urbanites aren’t alone in feeling mismatched

with their surroundings. More than four-in-ten

residents of suburbs, small towns and rural areas

also report they would prefer to live in a different

type of community.”

Social & Demographics Trends Project

Pew Research Center


The following are other findings of the Pew study:

By a ratio of more than three-to-one, Americans prefer living where the pace of life

is slow. A similarly lopsided majority prefer a place where neighbors know each

other well over one where neighbors generally are not acquainted.

Over 60% of people prefer to live in a warmer climate.


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About seven-in-10 whites rate their current community as “excellent” or “very good”;

only about half of Hispanics and four-in-10 blacks say the same. Rural and

suburban residents rate their communities better than do residents of cities and

small towns.

People who live in a city – as well as people who wish to live in a city – are more

open than others to the idea of living with neighbors who are of different races.

They are also more open to living among immigrants.

When it comes to community involvement, there is no difference among those who

live in cities, suburbs, small towns, or rural areas. About half of the residents in

each place say they are involved in their communities.

5.4 Satisfaction With Communities

A study by the Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) assessed Americans’

satisfaction with their communities, housing, and transportation and what they want for

themselves and their families. The study was based on a survey of homeowners by

Belden Russonello Strategists (www.brspoll.com). The following is a summary of the

Urban Land Institute assessment:

Quality of Life

• Ninety percent (90%) of American adults are satisfied with their community’s quality

of life, and few worry that these communities are in danger of deteriorating. Groups

who are least satisfied with where they currently live, such as Latinos and big-city

residents, tend to be the ones who are the most optimistic and who think their

communities are on the upswing.


• About a third of the American public live in what they consider small towns, a third in

middle-sized or big cities, 21% in suburbs, and 15% in rural areas. If given a choice,

a quarter say they would like to be living in rural communities.

Satisfaction With Residence

• Be it single-family houses, apartments, or other structures, most adults like where

they live. Nine in 10 adults report satisfaction with their current dwelling, and four in

five are happy with the range of housing choices in their communities. Even among

pockets of less contentment with housing, for example among Millennial adults

(ages 18-to-34), Latinos, and big-city residents, dissatisfaction does not rise to high


Home Ownership

• Seven in 10 believe that buying a home is a good investment for them, even in the

aftermath of the housing and mortgage difficulties of the last few years. Two-thirds

of survey respondents said they own their home and seven in 10 renters are hopeful

that within five years they will join the ranks of home ownership.


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