The 2009 American Housing Survey, recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides detailed information on the characteristics of the nation’s current housing profile. The survey covered a wide range of housing and lifestyle topics and some of the highlights include:
- the median year housing units were built was in 1974, with owner-occupied units being slightly newer (median of 1975 compared with 1971 for renter-occupied units).
- the median purchase price of homes was $107,500; for a newly constructed home, it was $240,000.
- thirty-two percent of owner-occupied units were owned free and clear, 66 percent had a regular and/or home equity mortgage and 2 percent had only a line-of-credit.
- the most important consideration for recent movers in choosing their homes was financial (28 percent), followed by room layout/design (15 percent) and size of home (10 percent).
- the most common reasons recent movers had for choosing their neighborhoods were convenience to job (20 percent), convenience to friends or relatives (14 percent), look/design of neighborhood (10 percent) and the house itself (10 percent).
- about two-thirds (64 percent) of the units used a warm-air furnace for heating; 12 percent used an electric heat pump; and 11 percent used a steam or hot water system.
- about two-thirds of housing units (65 percent) had central air conditioning and another 21 percent had window units; for new units, the percentage with central air conditioning was even higher (89 percent).