With the end of 2013 approaching, NAHB’s Eye on Housing would like to take a look at the updates that attracted the most readers over the last year. In October, we examined the regional differences in lot sizes for new single-family homes.
According to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), the median size of lots on single-family homes started in 2012 was three-quarters of an acre in the New England Census Division (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). This is significantly larger than the median lot size on homes started in the other eight Divisions.
In the Middle Atlantic Area (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania), for instance, the median lot size was 0.29 acres. In the Midwest, the median lot size in East North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin) and West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) was 0.38 acres and 0.23 acres respectively. Among the southern states, the East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee) had the highest median acre lots of 0.40 acres, followed by South Atlantic Area (Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia) with a median of 0.25 acre lot and the West South Central Area (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas) with 0.18 acres.
The Mountain Division (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) where the median lot size consists of 0.18 acres, the Pacific Division (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington) had median lot of 0.14 acres.
The median size of lot for new homes started was analyzed rather than the average. The average tends to be heavily influenced by extreme values, some of which are truncated on the public use SOC data set available from the Census Bureau. As it is based only on lot sizes in the middle of the distribution, the median is less sensitive to these problems.
The map below shows the lot size (in median acres) for single-family homes started in 2012 by census divisions: