For the first time since the Census Bureau’s 2005 survey redesign, the share of new homes with patios broke above 60 percent in 2020. More specifically, of the roughly 990,000 single-family homes started in 2020, 61.4 percent came with patios. This number comes from NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction, which is partially funded by HUD. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the share of new homes with patios hit a record high.
From the start of the downturn in 2007 through 2011, the share of new homes with patios was consistently under 50 percent—as low as 44.8 percent in the trough of 2009. In 2012, the share jumped to 52.4 percent and has been consistently climbing ever since. The incidence of patios on new homes has now increased in each of past eleven years, except for 2015 when it was flat.
The geographic incidence of new homes with patios resembles the pattern described in last year’s post, although the latest percentages are even lower in the divisions where patios tend to be least common. In 2020, only 19 percent of new single-family homes built in the Middle Atlantic and 21 percent in New England came with patios. At the high end of the scale, the incidence of patios on new homes was over 70 percent in the Mountain and West South Central divisions, and only a little under 70 percent in the South Atlantic.
The SOC data tell us how many new homes have patios but don’t provide detail about the nature of the patios. Some of this detail, however, is available from the Annual Builder Practices Survey (BPS) conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs. Unlike the SOC, the BPS explicitly includes pool decks in its patio category.
For the U.S. as a whole, the 2021 BPS report (based on data from 2020) shows that the average size of a patio on a new single-family home is about 278 square feet. However, there is considerable geographic variation, with new-home patios averaging over 350 square feet in Mid Atlantic, East North Central and Pacific divisions, and under 200 square feet in the East South Central. On a square foot basis, poured concrete continues to be the material builders use most often for patios, followed at a distance by concrete and brick pavers.
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