Analysis of factors which affect single family residential development in northwest Harris County
Cannady, William T.
Master of Architecture
This study attempts to seek answers to questions listed below using as a vehicle a selected area in Northwest Harris County. (1) Are developers and builders increasing the number of single family housing units per acre to maximize their returns on investments or maintain constant profits? (2) Are single family home buyers getting their dollar value in terms of home size as compared to previous years? (3) Are single family homes decreasing in size? (4) Corresponding to this decrease in size in single family homes are more multi-family housing units being built? (5) And, finally, if single family homes are decreasing in size; are home buyers still purchasing single family homes as a matter of preference and consequently, are they paying more for their homes? The basic approach consists of a selection of factors which affect single family residential development, and an analysis of these factors between the years 1962-1971 with the intent to reach conclusive answers to the above mentioned questions. The study shows that for the most part the answers to the above mentioned questions are in the affirmative. Developers have been constantly increasing the density of single family housing units per acre to maximize their returns on investments. Prospective single family home buyers were being offered larger home sizes for their dollar until 1968. Single family home sizes began to decrease after 1968 mainly as a result of increasing construction costs and higher interest rates. This decrease in single family home size lead to a corresponding increase in multi-family housing activity, which began to be accepted at an increasing rate. Nevertheless, prospective home buyers still purchased single family homes at increasing prices as a matter of preference over multi-family housing, despite a decrease in square foot area.