The U.S. Census Bureau has released its 2018 Characteristics of New Housing report, and it has literally everything real estate pros need to know about new single-family housing on the national and regional levels.
If it feels like construction is happening everywhere, that the sound of cranes and bulldozers is constantly drifting in your windows, here’s why: 2018 saw 840,000 single-family homes completed, the most since the end of the previous housing boom in 2007.
90 percent of those homes had three bedrooms or more, and 60 percent were between 1,800 to 2,999 square feet.
Of the 840,000 single family homes constructed last year, 783,000 had air conditioning, 306,000 had three or more bathrooms, 778,000 were framed in wood, 270,000 had a patio and a porch.

How are people buying homes?

Consistent with other years since 2009, 2018 saw 65 percent of sales financed using conventional loans. This is significantly lower than the 80 percent norm from 1999 until the end of the last boom. The difference has been made up since the crash by all-cash and FHA buyers

What about multi-family units?

In 2018, 345,000 multi-family units were completed, 44,000 of which were built specifically to be rentals. The number of rental-dedicated multi-family units has been on the rise since 2013, the first year the category was tracked.

What information can I find in the report?

Anything and everything, and beware: it’s extremely easy to get sucked into this report and spend an hour or more perusing the numbers.

You will find 2018 new housing numbers as well as the data going back to 1973 for:

  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Building material — brick, stucco, vinyl, wood or other?
  • Construction Method
  • Fireplaces
  • Air-Conditioning
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Much more!

Here’s the complete report from the Census Bureau.

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