The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development has released the results of its 2009 American Housing Survey.
"This important survey provides us a clear picture of the American home and its occupants," said Dr. Raphael Bostic, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. "The housing crisis makes clear the need for continued collection of high quality housing data to help us understand housing markets. The numbers behind this survey not only provide valuable information on the composition of our housing stock, but they also help us monitor the mortgage markets, measure worst-case housing needs, and inform our policy choices."
The survey revealed that when compared to homes of 1973, when the survey was first established, homes today are larger, with more bedrooms and bathrooms. New homes are even bigger. Eighty percent of them have three or more bedrooms. Most homes today have six or more rooms. And newer homes now boast a median size of 2,300 square feet.
Modern homes are also more likely to have air conditioning and other modern amenities. Sixty-five percent of homes today have central air-conditioning, as opposed to just 17 percent of homes in 1973.
Almost all homes have a telephone, at 98 percent. The majority also have a porch, deck, balcony or patio and a garage or carport. Almost all units (99 percent) have complete plumbing facilities. This may not seem spectacular, until you consider that only 60 percent of the world's population even has access to a functioning toilet.
The majority of U.S. homes also have refrigerators and cooking ranges in full kitchens. That figure is 98 percent. The majority also enjoy dishwashers, disposals, washing machines, and clothes dryers.
In terms of demographics, 68 percent of U.S. homes are owner-occupied. Fifty-one percent are suburban, 29 percent in the central city, and 20 percent outside metropolitan areas.
The median age of American homes is currently 36 years old.
When it comes to services and community amenities, most families are located within a mile of a public elementary school. Ninety-five percent of units are located close to a grocery or drug store, and 97 percent of residents with access were satisfied with the stores near them.
To find out more about the results of this year's survey, you can visit Hud.gov .