Two housing celebrations this month provide an opportunity to explore the nation’s housing landscape through an economic and lifestyle lens, from the number of homes built to who is struggling to pay for housing and how many homes have more than three bedrooms or bathrooms.

American Housing Month and National Homeownership Month celebrate the value of homeownership to families and communities and the ways banks and other public and private institutions can help people reach their housing goals.

And the U.S. Census Bureau provides the data needed to build a complete picture of housing activity in the United States.

For example, the latest Census Bureau numbers show that prices of new homes are rising (average sale price has topped $500,000), housing vacancies are at or near historic lows and most new single-family homes completed had at least 3 bedrooms (877,000 of the total 970,000 new single-family homes completed).

 

The average sales price was $570,300 in April 2022, an increase from $434,800 (31.2%) in April 2021.

 

What New Homes Look Like

The Census Bureau’s Characteristics of New Housing provides national and regional annual data on the characteristics of new privately-owned residential structures.

It includes square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, type of wall material, sales prices, and even the type of fuel used to heat the home.

New Single-family Homes in 2021 - Infographic

Of the 970,000 single-family homes completed in 2021:

  • 927,000 had air-conditioning.
  • 93,000 had two bedrooms or less and 444,000 had four bedrooms or more.
  • 27,000 had one and one-half bathrooms or less and 320,000 homes had three or more bathrooms.
  • 369,000 had a heat pump. Of these, 361,000 were air-source and 8,000 were ground-source.
  • 895,000 were framed in wood and 71,000 were framed using concrete.
  • 330,000 had a patio and a porch, while 87,000 had no outdoor features.

Full House

The Housing Vacancies and Homeownership economic indicators data provide current information on the rental and homeowner vacancy rates and characteristics of available housing. It shows:

Homeownership Rates by Region - Figure 1

The first quarter 2022 homeownership rate was highest in the Midwest (70.0%), followed by the South (67.4%), Northeast (61.8%) and West (60.2%).

The homeownership rate in the Northeast was lower than the first quarter 2021 rate, while rates in all other regions were not statistically different from the first quarter 2021 rates.

Rental Vacancy Rates by Region - Figure 2

The rental vacancy rate in the South (7.1%) was higher than the rate in the Midwest (5.9%), and both were higher than the rates in the Northeast (4.9%) and West (4.5%).

However, the rental vacancy rate in the Northeast was not statistically different from the West. The rates in the Northeast and Midwest were lower than their first quarter 2021 r