Although still far above historical averages, the typical home size posted a small decline from the end of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. According to an NAHB analysis, the median single-family square foot area for a newly built home rose slightly from 2,442 in the last quarter of 2015 to 2,463 for the first quarter of 2016. The mean square footage for new single-family homes fell from 2,674 to 2,657, however.
This drop in mean square footage is at least partially attributed to the fact that builders are beginning to develop more home for entry-level buyers, meaning there was an influx of smaller homes with more likely coming throughout the remainder of 2016, meaning the typical home size is expected to go even lower.
The one-year moving average shows the average size of a new single-family home has increased over 12 percent to 2,671 square feet and the median size has increased 17 percent to 2,456 square feet from cycle lows.
This pattern has been typical for a period following a recession. New home sizes have historically fallen before and during a recession and then rise again during post-recession periods. While single-family homes have increased in size from their pre-recession levels, multifamily units have decreased compared to the pre-recession period.
For NAHB’s full analysis and accompanying charts, follow the link below.