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New home sizes expand along with prices


LAS VEGAS – Jan. 25, 2016 – The average size of a new home rose to about 2,720 square feet in 2015 – 60 feet more than about 2,660 square feet the previous year, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The finding suggests that Americans' desire for personal space remains strong. Almost half of the houses started last year had four or more bedrooms, NAHB researchers note, and one out of four had garages with room for three or more cars.

However, the report isn't necessarily a sign of strength in the housing market. Builders are tilting new construction toward the high end due to land prices, construction costs and lack of available mortgages for less-affluent buyers.

The trend is making new homes less affordable for more homebuyers. The average price of new homes for sale in 2015 climbed to $351,000, up $100,000 from 2009.

Meanwhile, a major topic of conversation at the recent International Builders' Show was how to entice younger buyers to begin purchasing houses again. Ideas included more communal amenities, such as swimming pools and clubhouses.

"It's a little bit concerning," Jeff Roos, a regional president for Lennar Corp., stated. His company is looking at integrating technology and designs that appeal to younger buyers.

Source: Wall Street Journal (01/24/16) Kusisto, Laura

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Related Topics: Trends