Two-Story Homes Becoming the Norm

NAHB recently categorized data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), and the numbers revealed that 58% of single-family homes completed last year were two or more stories while only 42% were one story.

The trend is mainly being driven by homebuyers along both coasts. In New England, where The House of the Seven Gables was written, the one-story home is already a dinosaur (16% of completions), and the Mid-Atlantic states are also seeing declines (20% of completions). This is due in part to the fact that lot values are significantly higher in those regions than in other parts of the country, plus population density is higher and there are more land restrictions.

The percentages improve in the nation’s heartland. In the Texas/Oklahoma region, for example, 55% of completions last year were still single-story homes. And they still constitute a majority of completions in the Mountain and Great Lakes states.

Developers are starting to plan entire communities of three-story single-family homes, like the posh Brighton community in Livermore, California. This means that almost triple the amount of LP products would be required compared to single-story projects.

Although many famous Americans like Abe Lincoln and Thomas Edison were born in single-story homes, there may come a day when even three stories aren’t enough.

The tallest single-family home in America recently went on the market for about $3 million. It’s a 10-story home designed by Phoenix architect Sukumar Pal on a hillside outside of Prescott, Arizona.

Despite the Pal family tower, about 53% of the single-family homes in Arizona and neighboring states are of the single-story variety.


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