Americana redux? Front porches making a comeback, census figures show

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Two-thirds of new homes built in the United States during 2011 had a porch, a trend that has been on a steady rise for almost 10 years, according to a Census survey of construction.

It’s not quite a return to Norman Rockwell’s Americana, but the rise in the number of new homes with porches hints at a shift in the way Americans want to live: in smaller houses and dense neighborhoods that promote walking and social interaction.

The pace of new homes with decks and patios that are more expensive and take up more space, usually behind homes has flattened. New homes with front or rear porches has grown from 42% in 1992 to 65% in 2011, Census data show.

The data also show that the percentage of homes built without a garage or carport is the highest since the late 1990s. At the housing boom peak in 2004, 8% of new homes had no car shelter. It hit 13% in 2010 and 2011.It’s very positive ” about public transportation if new construction is starting to be built closer to employment centers or transit,” National Association of Home Builders’ Stephen Melman says.”That’s what the market wants,” says Christopher Leinberger, a developer outside Philadelphia.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.