Recently released data from the US Census’ Survey of Construction (SOC) show that 10 percent of single-family homes started in 2015 have 2 or less bedrooms, 43 percent have 3 bedrooms, 36 percent have 4 bedrooms, and 11 percent have 5 or more bedrooms.
Three bedroom homes have consistently been the most common type of new single-family home built. However, the share of new homes with 3 bedrooms has declined, going from 54 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2015 (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Share of New Single-Family Homes Started by Number of Bedrooms, 2005 to 2015
On the other hand, the share of new single-family homes with 4 bedrooms and the share with 5 or more bedrooms have increased since 2009. The share of new homes with four bedrooms went from 29 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2015. Moreover, the share of homes with five or more bedrooms went from 6 percent in 2009 to 11 percent in 2015.
Figure 2 displays the share of new homes with 4 or more bedrooms by Census Region. In 2015, the Pacific region had the largest share of new single-family homes with 4 or more bedrooms (57 percent). Other regions with relatively large shares include the South Atlantic Region (55 percent) and the Middle Atlantic region (51 percent). In contrast, the regions with the smallest shares of new homes with 4 or more bedrooms include the East North Central region (33 percent) and the East South Central region (32 percent).
Figure 2: Share of New Homes Started with 4 or More Bedrooms by Census Region
The increase in the share of new homes with 4 or more bedrooms in 2015 may reflect the move by builders to focus on higher end, larger homes in the post-recession period.
However, recent data indicate that this trend started to reverse with new 2016 data showing that the median square feet of new homes declined. Growth in the number of smaller homes, such as townhomes, may emerge going forward in response to first-time buyers returning to the market.