In the last 32 years, the U.S. population has shifted south and west. People continue to flow from rural to urban areas, the number of people living in each single-family residence is declining and average living space is increasing. These are some of the trends outlined in the report 32 Years of Housing Data released by HUD’s office of Policy Development and Research. The report looks at housing trends from 1973-2005.
According to the report:
• Floor plans for homes are larger, but lot size is holding steady. The median square footage of a single-family detached home was 1,610 square feet in 1985 and 1,774 square feet in 2005. The median lot size remained 0.36 of an acre over the same time period.
• Homeownership rates rose from 64.4 percent to 68.8 percent.
• In 1973, approximately 2 out of 3 homes were occupied by married couples. In 2005, this ratio fell to 1 out of every 2.
• Air conditioning became standard during the three decades in the study. The number of year-round residences without air-conditioning declined from 53 percent to 13 percent.