Two-Story Homes Preferred In Most Regions

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More than 80 percent of houses built in New England or the Middle Atlantic region last year were two stories or more.

October 03, 2016

The Northeast, land of tasty seafood and splendid fall foliage, is also the land of two-story houses. According to data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) and tabulated by the NAHB, 83 percent of houses built in New England or the Middle Atlantic region last year were two stories or more.

“The high share of two or more story completed homes in the Northeast, encompassing the New England and Middle Atlantic divisions, may partly reflect expensive lot values,” NAHB economist Joseph Salvia wrote on NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog. “Recent NAHB analysis found that median lot values in the New England and Middle Atlantic divisions far surpasses lot values elsewhere in the country. At the same time higher density and land constraints may also have contributed to a higher proportion of two or more story homes across coastal divisions.”

In other regions, including the South (57 percent) and West (59 percent), new homes with two or more stories are also more common than single-story options. As a whole, 58 percent of U.S. homes built in 2015 have multiple levels.

Single-story homes are the norm in the Midwest, however, where 53 percent of houses built last year have only one story. These homes should suit older Americans, in particular: A recent NAHB survey, which indicates that 64 percent of buyers nationwide prefer single-story homes, was dominated by older buyers. Of the respondents, 88 percent of seniors and 75 percent of Baby Boomers desired one-story homes that make it easier to age in place. Only 49 percent of the Gen Xers and 35 percent of the Millennials who took part in the survey preferred one story.

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