One way to track the increased affluence in America is to look at the trends in new home construction. This research report from the National Association of Homebuilders is filled with interesting facts. For example,

Some of the features that average home buyers want today used to be considered optional and were standard only in upscale luxury homes. Today, the difference between average homes and upscale/luxury homes is that upscale homes are larger, with top-of-the-line equipment and materials.

Thanks to Bruce Bartlett for a pointer that led me to track down this article.

For Discussion. What characteristics of a standard middle-class home built around 1960 would be considered unacceptable in a standard middle-class home today?