Half Baths May Mean More Than Whole

September 4, 2015

If a home has more than five bathrooms, putting in an extra half-bath can do more to raise the price of the property than adding a full bathroom, according to a survey of listings on realtor.com® in late July.

The median listing price per square foot for homes with two full bathrooms was 15 percent more than for homes with only one full bath, while homes with 1.5 bathrooms commanded only a 10 percent premium over those with just a single full bath, according to the data. But the median listing price for homes with 6.5 bathrooms was 10 percent higher per square foot than for homes with seven bathrooms—suggesting that once a property has a certain number of tubs and showers, the added convenience of an extra toilet may make a bigger difference.

"You get to the point of diminishing returns with the full bath," says Stephen Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders. A half-bath, also known as a powder room, on the first floor of a house may get more use than any of the home's other bathrooms, he notes.

And in high-end homes, extra half-baths are often included with luxury features such as pool houses, catering kitchens and home theaters that contribute to the price of the property.

A large home without one or more powder rooms may feel like it is missing something, says Joan Eleazer of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty, who is listing a 40,000-square-foot home outside Dallas that has six full baths and eight half-baths—including three sets of his-and-hers powder rooms.

Source: "Half a Bathroom Can Be Better Than One," realtor.com® (Sept. 3, 2015)