Despite a rise in reported crime from 2003, American homeowners are very satisfied with their neighborhoods, thanks in part to improving home values, according to 2005 American Housing Survey microdata released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On a scale of 1 (worse) to 10 (best), the percentage of householders who rated their neighborhood an 8 or above (70.4 percent) was up about 1 percentage point from 2003, the last time these data were collected. The Midwest (72.6 percent) had the highest rate among regions, the data revealed.

The percentage of householders who reported crime in their neighborhoods rose from 14.6 percent in 2003 to 15.1 percent in 2005.

The median home value rose from $140,201 in 2003 to $165,344 in 2005, a 17.9 percent increase. For homes built in the last four years, the median value climbed 26.7 percent in the two-year period, rising from $186,939 to $236,864.

Additional examples of findings:

  • Monthly housing costs were $809 in 2005.

  • There were 4.1 million renter-occupied housing units in multiunit structures with five or more apartments that included at least one household member age 55 or older. In about 22 percent of these units, the occupants received various special services, such as prepared meals, transportation and housekeeping. About 14 percent of these occupants lived in buildings where assistance was provided to them, such as financial management and aid in shopping, bathing and dressing.

  • Sixty-two percent of the nation’s 6.9 million mobile homes were single-wide, with the remainder being double-wide or larger.

The American Housing Survey microdata are files showing the responses made by the public to survey questions, with identifyng information removed. These records enable users to generate their own tabulations. The file includes 2005 statistics on a wide range of housing topics. Among these are the presence of air conditioning and other equipment, heating fuels used, size of homes, mortgages, rent control and rent subsidies, satisfaction with home and neighborhood and repairs made to the unit. Information on the demographic characteristics of the unit’s occupants is also included. Statistics are provided for apartments, single-family homes, mobile homes and vacant housing units.

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