New single-family homes in 2020

Results of the U.S. Census Bureau’s look at new single-family homes built nationwide in 2020 shows that the majority had air conditioning, a third had a patio or porch and they averaged 2,261 square feet.

Here are highlights of annual 2020 Characteristics of New Housing.

The Survey of Construction includes two parts: the Survey of Use of Permits (SUP), which estimates the amount of new construction in areas that require a building permit, and the Non-Permit Survey (NP), which estimates the amount of new construction in areas that do not require a building permit. Less than 2% of all new construction takes place in non-permit areas. Data from both parts of Survey of Construction are collected by census field representatives. For SUP, they visit a sample of permit offices and select a sample of permits issued for new housing.

Of the 912,000 single-family homes completed in 2020:

• 870,000 had air-conditioning.

• 90,000 had two bedrooms or less and 401,000 had four bedrooms or more.

• 29,000 had one and one-half bathrooms or less and 309,000 homes had three or more bathrooms.

• 353,000 had a heat pump. Of these, 344,000 were air-source and 9,000 were ground-source.

• 831,000 were framed in wood and 75,000 were framed using concrete.

• 306,000 had a patio and a porch, while 71,000 had no outdoor features.

• The median size of a completed single-family house was 2,261 square feet.

Of the 375,000 multifamily units completed in 2020:

• 164,000 had one bedroom and 38,000 had three bedrooms or more.

• 372,000 were conventional apartments and 3,000 were townhouses.

• 216,000 were in buildings with four floors or more.

• 334,000 had individual laundry facilities and 24,000 had shared laundry facilities.

• 263,000 were in buildings framed in wood and 38,000 were in buildings framed in steel.

• The median size of multifamily units built for rent was 1,075 square feet, while the median of those built for sale was 1,306 square feet.

Of the 14,000 multifamily buildings completed in 2020:

• 3,000 had 4 floors or more.

• 2,000 had 50 units or more.

• 6,000 were heated by a heat pump.

• 12,000 had wood framing.

Of the 822,000 single-family homes sold in 2020:

• 739,000 were detached homes and 83,000 were attached homes.

• 348,000 had three bedrooms.

• 495,000 were heated using gas.

• 570,000 were purchased using conventional financing and 37,000 were purchased using cash.

• 250,000 had stucco as the primary exterior wall material.

• 742,000 had wood framing.

• The median sales price of new single-family homes sold in 2020 was $336,900, while the average sales price was $391,900.

• The median size of a new single-family home sold in 2020 was 2,333 square feet.

• 123,000 contractor-built single-family homes were started in 2020.

• The median contract price was $298,500.

Note: The estimates shown here are based on sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error.

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