A dog entertains guests out on the patio. View Apart/Shutterstock.com

For all the growth in cities, new housing still looks incredibly suburban.

Here’s a curious detail from the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest survey on new housing trends, one that’s extremely relevant for summer: The U.S. is experiencing an explosion in sales of homes with patios. Beer me, then check out these data.

The annual national survey of construction report relays information about single- and multi-family housing construction and sales across the nation. This year, for the first time ever, the report includes statistics on the outdoor features of new single-family homes sold. The survey includes five years’ worth of data on patios, porches, and decks, from 2010 through 2014.

Houses with patios are moving the market. Some 96,000 houses with patios were sold in 2014, up from 59,000 houses in 2010. Houses with porches and houses with decks haven’t fared nearly as well. All in all, 22 percent of the houses sold in 2014 came with a patio, a larger share than houses that with a deck (6 percent) or a porch (16 percent, a share that’s fallen since 2010).

Get this: About one-third of single-family homes that sold in the U.S. in 2014 came with a patio and a porch—which is another way of saying that most homes sold in the U.S. continue to be large and detached. Most of the homes sold in recent years are big and growing bigger: In 2014, 83 percent of single-family homes were larger than 1,800 square feet in floor area; 55 percent of the homes were larger than 2,400 square feet in floor area.

Meanwhile, new apartments and condos are small and shrinking. Nearly half (49 percent) of the multifamily units built in 2011 were between 1,200 to 1,799 square feet in area, but that share has fallen to 27 percent in 2014. Some 66 percent of multifamily units are under 1,199 square feet, and 38 percent are smaller than 1,000 square feet.

Apartment units are getting smaller and the number of units in a building isn’t growing very much. Meanwhile, loads of people who buy houses get a patio, at a minimum. For all the growth in cities, new housing still looks incredibly suburban.

Top image: View Apart/Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  2. a photo of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in 2016.
    Transportation

    What Uber Did

    In his new book on the “Battle for Uber,” Mike Isaac chronicles the ruthless rise of the ride-hailing company and its founding CEO, Travis Kalanick.

  3. Environment

    A 13,235-Mile Road Trip for 70-Degree Weather Every Day

    This year-long journey across the U.S. keeps you at consistent high temperatures.

  4. Environment

    This Is What Adapting to Climate Change Looks Like

    PG&E’s blackouts in California are a bleak preview of the disruptions that will become routine in a warmer world.

  5. A woman stands in front of a house.
    Life

    How Housing Wealth Transferred From Families to Corporations

    The Great Housing Reset has led to growing numbers of single-family homes shifting from owner-occupied housing to investment vehicles for large corporations.

×