Why Single-Story Home Construction is Rising, and WhereOctober 25, 2019
Why is single-story home construction on the rise? Well, with an aging population, it’s no surprise that single-story homes seem to be popping up everywhere.
Health conditions and mobility issues all make staircases a problem for seniors. As Baby Boomers age, demand increases for single-story homes. This may be the largest factor driving the increase in the growth of single-level new builds.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, the percentage of new build homes with a single story is growing, from 45% to 47% in 2018. At the same time, the percentage of new homes with two or more stories has dropped from 55% to 53%.
However, the demand for single-story homes isn’t just about fulfilling Baby Boomer demand and it isn’t consistent across the country. Here’s what you need to know about this shift in the real estate industry.
Why is Demand Growing for Single-Story Homes?
Baby Boomers aren’t the only generation driving the demand for single-story homes, although they do have the strongest demand. According to Housing Wire, 80 percent of Baby Boomers want to live in a single-story home. However, almost half of GenXers also want a single-story home, and 35% of Millennials.
In fact, Baby Boomers and Millennials share an interest in more housing features than you may think. MarketWatch lists a few key housing attributes both generations are looking for, and included such surprising items as multi-family dwellings, technology upgrades, walk-in showers, kitchen islands, and large backyards.
While you may think of technology upgrades as a big selling point for Millennials, more Baby Boomers want these upgrades to make it easier to stay independent in their old age. Similarly, you may think of walk-in showers as a key feature for Baby Boomers, who often don’t have the flexibility and balance for other types of showers or baths. However, the shower has become much trendier among Millennials as it’s a stylish option.
You may think of single-story homes as just an option for Baby Boomers. However, you may be surprised when some Millennials and more Gen Xers put in offers.
Where is Demand Growing for Single-Story Homes?
Demand for single-story homes isn’t consistent across the country. For example, on the west coast, what the NAHBs defines as New England, single-story homes are not nearly as popular as in the rest of the country. In 2018, only 16% of new homes started were single-story.
This percentage is also quite low in the Middle Atlantic region, at 24% and the Pacific region (including Alaska) at 36%. It’s possible that these homes are less popular on the coast because these areas attract more Millennials, while Baby Boomers leave them for more central locations.
Indeed, demand for single-story homes is much stronger in the middle of the country. The area with the most demand is what NAHB calls West South Central, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. These states had 60% single-dwelling homes, of the new homes started in 2018.
Next is West North Central, with 57%, East North Central with 57%, East South Central 55%, and Mountain at 50%.