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U.S. Housing Market: Bigger Homes, Fewer Underwater

By Market OverviewJun 15, 2014 06:23AM GMT Add a Comment
 
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Average Home Size: 1983-2013
Average Home Size: 1983-2013

These two Great Graphics caught our attention. The first one shows that the average size of American homes has steadily increased.  It was posted on CNN by Les Christie, who drew from Census Department figures. Over the past decade alone, the average house size increased by 11% to almost 2600 square feet. Separately, we know that average household size has fallen too.

Underwater Properties since 2009
Underwater Properties since 2009

Part of what is happening is that the proportion of small homes (1400 square feet and less) have fallen to 4% from 9% in 2005. The large houses (4000 square feet and more) accounted for 9% of the homes built last year compared to 6.6% in 2005.  
 
The lower chart here was posted on MarketWatch by Ruth Mantell. It shows that the number of households that owe more on their homes than the homes are worth has been halved since 2009 to almost 12% (which is still about 6 mln households). Five states (Nevada, Florida, Mississippi, Arizona and Illinois) account for a third of the negative equity households.  
 
According to CoreLogic a 5% increase in house prices this year could bring another 1.2 mln households out of negative equity.  Around a quarter of those 43 mln households that have positive equity may be vulnerable to new decline in house prices as they have less than accumulated less than 20% equity.
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