When your adult child comes back to live with you, there is a good reason he or she won’t be exiled to the basement.
If you have a newer home, you are going to have the room to spare.
The average size of newly built homes continues to grow, although not as much as in previous years. It is now 2,687 square feet, according to the Census Bureau’s annual survey of U.S. housing. The census also says that 31 percent of newly constructed homes are 3,000 square feet or more.
Houses are being built with more bedrooms and bathrooms, too. The size of the average household has shrunk to 2.58 people, but 47 percent of new homes have four or more bedrooms, and 38 percent have three bathrooms or more. Demand for the extra bathroom shot up after the Great Recession ended.
Citing census data, the Pew Research Center reported that in 2014, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.
That’s not the reason homes are getting bigger. Remember, this is a survey of new homes. (And this particular set of data is for single-family homes, which tend to be in more suburban settings where there is open land to build.) New houses tend to be more expensive than used ones (“existing houses,” as the industry terms them).
Wealthy people are driving that new-house market, and builders are giving them what they demand. The National Association of Home Builders say Americans want even more: On average, 17 percent more space.
So let’s figure we'll be tacking on yet another bedroom and bath soon — for the grandchildren. We wouldn’t want them living in the basement.