Northeast Homes are Older, Smaller than National Average

Applications for new home construction nationwide rose to a five-year high in April, offering evidence that the post-recession housing revival will be sustained, according to Associated Press reports on U.S. Commerce Department data.  Applications for building permits – considered an indicator of future demand - rose 14.3 percent to a rate of 1.02 million, the highest since June 2008.

The new construction data builds on a home ownership foundation that varies across regions.  There are 76 million owner-occupied homes in the United States, and three-quarters of them are in metropolitan areas.  The breakdown:  22 percent in central cities, 36 percent in urban suburbs, 17 percent in rural suburbs and only 25 percent outside of metropolitan areas.home size

Not surprisingly, the oldest homes (51 years old on average) are found in the Northeast, where they are also 15 percent smaller than the national average; the newest homes are in the South – 27 percent larger than the national average and an average of 31 years old.  The average home in the west is 49 years old, in the Midwest 41 years old.

In Fairfield County, only 6.8 percent of homes were built after 2000, and in the entire state that figure is 7.1 percent, the Connecticut Post reported last month.

Nationwide, the median family home size has grown substantially in recent decades.  In 1982 it was 1,520 sq. ft.; by 2007, it was 2,227 sq. ft.

The data indicate an average of 2.6 people per household nationwide, with the percentage of households with children under age 18 greatest in the urban suburbs (37%), followed by rural suburbs (36%), central cities (33%) and those outside of metropolitan areas (30%).

The data, compiled by the websites of the National Association of Home Builders ( and, was featured in an infographic developed for Quicken Loans in partnership with Ghergich & Co.

The sites also compares Connecticut with national averages in key home-related categories:

  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $166,900 [National Average $119,600]
  • Median Price Asked for Housing Units: $136,500 [National Average $89,600]
  • Median Household Income: $53,935  [National Average: $41,994]
  • Median Family Income $65,521 [National Average: $50,046]
  • Per-Capita Income: $28,766 [National Average: $21,587]

U.S. Census data featured by the state Department of Economic and Community Development indicates that Connecticut has 1,371,087 housing units occupied, led by the cities with the largest number of occupied housing units:  Bridgeport 51,255, New Haven, 48,877; Stamford, 47,357; Hartford, 45,124, and Waterbury, 42,761.