Porches on 90% of New Homes in 4 Southern States

There is a clear geographic pattern to the exterior amenities (porches, patios and decks) included on new homes, according to data from the Survey of Construction (SOC).  Among Census divisions, the highest incidence of one of these amenities occurs in the East South Central (the four southern states of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee), where 90 percent of the new homes started in 2012 had porches.

The SOC is conducted by the Census Bureau, partly funded by HUD, and the source of the familiar series on housing starts.  Traditionally, it has provided detail only for the four Census regions.  But since 2009, in a move strongly endorsed by NAHB, the Census Bureau has made detail for the nine Census divisions available.  Since then, at least 90 percent of homes in the East South Central division have been built with porches.  At the other extreme, the share of new homes with porches in the Middle Atlantic (New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) has been under 50 percent every year.

The map below shows the geographic breakdown of patios and decks on single-family homes started in 2012:


As of 2012, patios are most common on new homes in the West South Central, followed by the Mountain and Pacific divisions.  Patios are least common in New England, followed by the Middle Atlantic and East North Central.  These rankings have remained relatively stable since 2009, although the adjacent Mountain and West South Central divisions have changed places at the top of the list.

While patios are less common on new homes in New England than other divisions, that is where decks are most common (included on 72 percent of  homes started in 2012), followed at a distance by the West North Central (43 percent) and East South Central (35 percent).  Decks are comparatively uncommon in the West South Central.  Elsewhere, 20 to 26 percent of the new homes have decks.  These geographic tendencies have also remained relatively stable since 2009.

These and other characteristics of new homes started in 2012 are described in more detail in a recent HousingEconomics.com Special Study.

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5 replies

  1. Here’s an example of the kind of things I would like to share on the web page. I would write about the statistics on this post from NAHB with something like the following: Porches, decks and patios are an affordable way to create additional living space, especially here in Arizona. Our weather affords us the opportunity to enjoy nearly 6 months of the year outside in comfort. A simple patio cover, deck or outdoor kitchen can increase your entertiaining capacity without the expense of room additions which have to be enclosed and heated or cooled. Imagine watching our beautiful sunsets (or sunrises) in the comfort of your backyard. Smell the rain and watch the storms roll in while you sip a cold glass of ice tea, or a warm cup of coffee. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. ( I would insert a picture of a patio we have done here, and I would describe it… Maybe several pictures that show furnished patio spaces, kitchens, simple porches, etc. I hope to have our Pintrest and Houzz profiles ready with a porch or two and direct them there for ideas…) I plan to then say ‘Call us for a free estimate on the outdoor living space of your dreams and start enjoying more time with your family and friends’. I would respond to comments, questions, and set up a time to bid there ideas… Or, I could say ‘Increase your usable living space for a fraction of the cost of an addition’, etc. I plan to submit all posts to you and Tom for your input and ideas… I will start practicing with things I run across and would like to post and will start posting when I feel like I can maintain the communication. I can practice by sending them to you. Thank you for the idea. Sue

    Sue Hayes Hayes Construction, Inc. Office: (520) 297-9643 Cell: (520) 975-4503 http://www.HayesConstructionTucson.com “Our name goes on everything we build, that makes us very particular.”

    Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2013 15:24:45 +0000 To: azshayes@msn.com

  2. I think part of the charm of southern homes are the wraparound porches. I live in Tennessee and I am so proud to see our history recreated with beautiful home designs. The southern homes were built with so much skill and care. When I was building my first home, I asked my Tennessee home builders to recreate a southern farmhouse look with the wraparound porch too. Thanks for sharing the insight!


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