New homes typically increase in size after a recession, due to tighter credit that limits first-time buyers but has little effect on the higher-end side of the market.
The landscape is different now, as builders are adding more entry-level homes into inventory. CNBC reports that the median single-family square floor area dropped 73 feet from the first to the second quarter of 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders and U.S. Census data. This is the first time since the recession that home size dipped.
"People want to stay in closer-in locations, at least from our experience, and closer-in locations tend to be more expensive from a land and development standpoint and so, the desire to be able to keep people in those locations is translating into smaller square footages and more efficient designs," said Bob Youngentob, president of EYA, to CNBC.