… People’s attitudes should surely be altered by new data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Their survey released on Thursday revealed four record highs hit by home building in 2011. The average size of new homes bumped up to a record 2,522 square feet, a record-high 42% of new homes had at least four bedrooms, 28% had at least three bathrooms and 30% included finished basements, all numbers up substantially over 2010. Countering this, there were a record low 429,000 single-family housing starts for the year.
But there’s hope. The NAHB’s chief economist forecast a 16% increase for new-home sales and single-family starts for 2012. He cited NAHB estimates of a pent-up demand for 2 million homes coming from households that are doubled-up or waiting to buy a home. Another NAHB sponsored survey revealed 78% of Americans likely to vote in the presidential election said owning a home was one of the most important things in their lives. They feel homeownership is about family and remains part of the American dream. Freddie Mac’s chief economist chimed in, “The desire for homeownership long-term is still there.”