Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Census Bureau Releases Housing Data

This is actually a couple of days old... but I thought our readers might be interested in knowing that the U.S. Census Bureau has released the 2009 American Housing Survey, The Report covers statistics about apartments, single-family homes, manufactured housing, new construction and vacant housing units throughout the country.

According to the new survey... the nation's homeowners paid a median of $1,000 in monthly housing costs in 2009, compared with $808 for renters. However, renters usually paid a higher percentage of their household income on these costs than did owners (31 percent compared with 20 percent).

A wide range of specific topics is covered in the survey, such as the presence of air conditioning, crowding, housing costs, special living services offered to older residents, type of heating fuel used, cost of utilities and size of the home... and even 'subjective' information like satisfaction with the neighborhood. Of course, the survey also covers the demographic characteristics of the housing units' occupants.

Here are some interesting facts from the report:
  • 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). Furthermore, 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).
  • Ten percent of communities had secured entrances, with the likelihood somewhat higher (15 percent) in new communities. [Ed... Really? 10% of all single-family homes are in gated communities??]

Data from this survey (In MS Excel format) are available at the national and regional level, and for inside and outside metropolitan statistical areas, and urban and rural areas.

Remember... The Minnesota Homeownership Center’s goal is SUCCESSFUL homeownership. If you’re thinking of buying your first home… the Center is here to help. Workshops for first-time buyers are available throughout the state and counselors (one-on-one meetings) are also available. If you’d like to learn more, visit our website here.

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