April 20, 2018

The Most Common Housing Style in the U.S.

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The Most Common Housing Style in the U.S.

The detached single-family home may dominate in a large portion of the U.S., but in many cities across the country, the growing urban population and lack of space may make this type of home less common in the future.

Read more: Guide to Residential Styles

To track and chart the most common home styles in 40 major American cities, The Washington Post took data from the recent 2014 American Community Survey showing the characteristics of occupied housing throughout the country.

They found that overall, single-family homes are the minority of housing options in just 15 of the 40 most populous cities.

Not surprisingly, large apartments make up over 60 percent of the housing stock in New York, while single-unit attached buildings, more commonly known as row houses, make up more than half of the housing options in Philadelphia and Baltimore. 

The study also revealed a few surprises. Los Angeles, thought to be the ultimate city for housing sprawl, actually is one of the denser cities in the country and boasts a growing number of large apartments.

"These figures tell us not just about the physical character of each city, but the potential they have for new housing as many places (Detroit not withstanding) look for space to fit a growing urban population," says The Washington Post. "Higher density, in all of these cities, doesn't have to mean Manhattan-style mega-rises."

Accommodating a growing population is already a struggle in Seattle, for example, where a battle is brewing against protected single-family home zoning and those who want zoning changed to include more affordable housing options.

Check out The Washington's Post chart of the most common occupied housing units by building type.

Source: "The most popular type of home in every major American city, charted," The Washington Post (Sept. 21, 2015)