Americans want bigger and better homes according to Wall Street Journal writer Jeffrey Sparshott. Census Bureau data released this week recorded the biggest median house size for a new single-family home on record--2,467 square feet. That's 61% larger than the median size of a home 40 years ago, and 11% larger than homes just 10 years go.

Homes are also including more amenities, like more bathrooms. About 96% of new homes last year had at least two bathrooms versus 60% four decades earlier.

That may go some way toward explaining rising prices. The median sales price of a new home was $296,400 last year, according to Census, a new high. Even when adjusted for inflation, new-home prices hit a record last year. More recent data suggest the housing market is gaining strength amid steady job creation and low mortgage rates, though rising prices and short supplies are constraints. U.S. new-home sales in April posted their strongest month in more than eight years. And sales of existing homes, which account for the bulk of the market, rose for the second straight month in April, the National Association of Realtors said last month.

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