Share of New Homes with Porches Dips Below 64 Percent

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Of the roughly 1.1 million single-family homes started in 2021, 63.4 percent came with porches, according to NAHB tabulation of data from the Survey of Construction (SOC, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau with partial funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development).

This marks the first time the share of single-family homes with porches has dipped below 64 percent since 2015.  From 2016 through 2020, the share was consistently above 64 percent, even above 65 percent in 2016 and 2020.  However, none of the year-to-year fluctuations have been very large.  The bottom line is that the share of new homes built with porches has hovered in a relatively narrow band between 63 and 66 percent since 2009.

The Census Bureau’s SOC data can be tabulated for each of the country’s nine Census divisions.  Traditionally, porches on new homes have been most common in the four states that make up the East South Central division.  That was once again true in 2021, when 87 percent of single-family homes started in the East South Central had porches, followed at a distance by 74 percent in the Mountain, 73 percent in the East North Central, and 71 percent in the Pacific divisions.

The SOC provides information about the number of new single-family homes with porches, but not many details about the porches beyond that.  A source for additional information, however, is the Builder Practices Survey (BPS), conducted annually by Home Innovation Research Labs.  Among other things, the 2022 BPS report (based on homes built in 2021) shows that porches continue to be most common on the front of new single-family homes, rather than on the side or rear.  When they are present, however, the side and rear porches tend to be larger—about 138 square feet, on average, compared to 102 square feet for front porches.

On a square foot basis, builders use concrete more than any other material in new-home porches.  The major exception is in New England, where builders are considerably more likely to use treated wood, PVC or other plastic, composite (a combination of usually recycled wood fibers and plastic), natural stone or untreated wood.



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