Home Size Trending Lower


By Robert Dietz on November 22, 2023 • An expected impact of the virus crisis was a need for more residential space, as people use homes for more purposes including work. Home size correspondingly increased in 2021 as interest rates reached historic lows. However, as interest rates increased in 2022 and 2023, and housing affordability worsened, the demand for home size has trended lower. According to third quarter 2023 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area came in at 2,221 square feet, close to the lowest reading since the end of 2010. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes registered at 2,430 square feet. Since Great Recession lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of a new single-family home is now more than 2% higher at 2,442 square feet, while the median size is more than 5% higher at 2,216 square feet. Home size rose from 2009 to 2015 as entry-level new construction lost market share. Home size declined between 2016 and 2020 as more starter homes were developed. After a brief increase during the post-covid building boom, home size is trending lower and will likely do so as housing affordability remains constrained. ‹ Existing Home Sales Slide to a New 13-Year Low Amid High Mortgage RatesTags: economics, home building, home size, housing, new home size, single family home size, single-family