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New-Home Sizes Level Off, Pointing Toward Future of Larger Homes

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New-Home Sizes Level Off, Pointing Toward Future of Larger Homes


February 19, 2021
modern farmhouse home
Photo: TheCreativeBrigade

Following years of steady decline, the size of new homes leveled off at 2,274 square feet in 2020. The National Association of Home Builders notes this measure has yet to change significantly yet, but points toward a result of the pandemic, with more homebuyers wanting additional space. The size of new single-family homes have continued to decrease since 2016 when more starter homes were built, and NAHB expects homes to only grow in size. 

According to fourth quarter 2020 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area was flat at 2,274 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes changed little, inching down to 2,475.

On a less volatile one-year moving average, additional evidence of a leveling off of new single-family home size can be seen on the graph above. Since Great Recession lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of new single-family homes is now only 4.5% higher at 2,477 square feet, while the median size is about 8% higher at 2,273 square feet.

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