Looking at data from the Census Bureau, the National Association of Home Builders finds that the trend in 2011 was toward larger homes with more amenities.

  • Average size: 6% from 2010 (from 2,381 to 2,522 sq. ft.)
  • Four-bedroom homes: 42% of the construction (up from 36%)
  • Finished basement: 30% of construction (up from 25%)
  • Average sales price of a newly constructed home: $274,400 (up from $264,900)

NAHB asks the obvious question: How can the average home be getting bigger, more expensive, and have more amenities when the housing market remains weak and the overall economy is yet to see a robust recovery? 

The answer is simple: it comes down to who has been buying homes. In the last couple of years, a typical home buyer had to have a 20% down payment, a high credit score, well-documented income, and stable employment history in order to qualify for a mortgage.

Read more over at the NAHB’s blog.