The Number of Bathrooms in New U.S. Homes is Going Down the Toilet

When you shop around for a new home, there are extra features and amenities that you know will depend on your price point and interests, like a sunroom or wine cellar. However, there are certain features that you expect to see included in any new home regardless of price. Like, say, bathrooms.

Now, we’re not saying that U.S. homebuilders have suddenly stopped including bathrooms and you’re going to be stuck using a porta potty in the backyard. However, per the NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog, the data points to new homes, on average, including fewer bathrooms than they used.

Between 2000 and 2015, bathroom trends were on a roll. The number of new single-family homes with one bathroom or less remained flat while new homes with two bathrooms trended down and new homes with three or more bathrooms trended upward. In 2016, however, those trends reversed. New single-family home builds with three bedrooms or more dropped by two percent while new homes with two bedrooms rose two percent. 

So what happened? When it came to including bathrooms were builders just pooped? In reality, builders started focusing more on starter homes in order to entice the glut of first-time buyers looking for affordable inventory. As such, starter homes tend to be smaller and therefore require fewer bathrooms. 

Overall homebuilding industry trends back this up. The average size of a new home build in 2016 was 2,622 square feet, down from 2,689 square feet in 2015.

Want to make sure your next home purchase has enough bathrooms to ensure one will always be available? Then you might want to consider living in the South Atlantic or Mountain regions where the percentage of new homes with three or more bathrooms are 40 percent and 38 percent, respectively. If bathroom capacity is your biggest concern, you may want to avoid New England where that percentage comes in at just 23 percent.

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