Our Houses Are Getting Bigger and More Expensive - Fine Homebuilding

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Our Houses Are Getting Bigger and More Expensive

comments (0) January 13th, 2014 in Blogs
ScottG Scott Gibson, contributing writer

Click To Enlarge Photo: chicagogeek on Flickr.com

U.S. houses are bigger and more expensive than they were just a few years ago, the National Association of Home Builders says.

According to a new report, NAHB sent its email "construction cost survey" to more than 3,000 builders last July and August. It received "usable" responses from 39 builders.

At 14,359 sq. ft., roughly one-third of an acre, the average lot size was slightly smaller than reported in surveys in 2009 and 2011. Conditioned space increased to an average of 2607 sq. ft., and the average cost, including profit, sales commission, marketing, and other expenses, was $399,532.

The proportion of the sales price that went to construction climbed slightly to 62%, up from the 59% reported in the two previous surveys. Builder profits averaged 9.3% of the sales price.

In addition to listing average costs for each phase of construction, the report also breaks down the average share of the total cost. The three most costly areas were interior finish (29.3% of total costs), framing (19.1%), and finished lot (18.6%). 

There weren't enough responses to provide a geographic breakdown of the results, NAHB says. 

The average sales price in 2013 was 25% higher than it was in 2011 but well below the peak of $454,906 reported in 2007, just before the bottom fell out of the construction market. The Census Bureau reports a similar pattern for the same time frame, although averages are lower.

Profits hit a low in 2011, with an average of 6.8% of the sales price. The average was as high as 12% in 2002.


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